Snohomish County Reusable Materials Exchange

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Jessica Myntti

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Recyclopedia: Lawn and Garden Care Products

Lawn and Garden Care Products

Homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers use on their crops. Empty or partially full containers of pesticides/insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers should be dropped off at your local Household Hazardous Waste Collection facility. For an excellent guide to an alternative to standard lawn and garden care practices, visit: http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc.mhtml?i=107&s=lawn Many pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers are hazardous and can cause severe damage to you and the environment. The EPA's latest public figures from 2001 estimate US homeowners bought 102 million pounds of the active ingredients used in pesticides for lawn and garden, at a cost of over $2 billion, while every year $5 billion is spent on fossil-fuel-derived fertilizers. All told, Americans spent over $38 billion on lawn care in 2003. And yet, many of the conventional pesticides used on lawns pose threats to human health and wildlife, killing more birds than West Nile virus and resulting in the accidental poisonings of children. Several studies of professional lawn care workers have shown they face of increased risk of non-Hodgkinson's Lymphoma (NHL), currently the sixth most common malignant cancer in the U.S. Workers in pesticide manufacturing plants have been shown to have higher rates of NHL as well as soft-tissue cancers. A 2001 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) found that after lawn application of the pesticide 2,4-D outdoors, the pesticide was detected in indoor air and upon all surfaces. Most of this came from floor dust. Some people have severe allergies to pesticides and may become ill just by walking past a lawn with pesticides on it. Environment Canada estimates that 50% of the pesticides and fertilizers used in our cities wash into local waterways. Feeding your lawn and garden with organic compost, and providing optimum growth conditions, will keep your grass and plants healthy and relatively pest free. If you have information on other alternatives for these products, please contact us and we’ll consider posting it here.