Agricultural chemicals and waste management

Handling residues, water contaminated with PPPs, expired products, clothing contaminated with PPPs, lubricants, fuel and fertilisers

Residues of the spray application after treatment with plant protection products must be: “handle in a manner that minimises the risk of contamination of surface water and groundwater within the meaning of the Water Law and of the ground, whereby the residues of the application fluid after treatment with plant protection products intended for professional users must:

  1. use after dilution on the treated area where the plant protection product was applied in a smaller quantity, if possible, or
  2. be disposed of by technical solutions ensuring biological degradation of the active substances of the plant protection products, or
  3. dispose of in a manner other than that indicated in point (2) if it complies with waste legislation.”

The most environmentally, as well as economically, advantageous thing to do is to use the remaining spray liquid on the field where the treatment is carried out, if possible. It is not permissible to pour water contaminated with crop protection products, grease, fuel or fertilisers into drains, watercourses, rivers, lakes or the ground, or to burn them yourself.

Cleaning of the sprayer should be carried out immediately after treatment, washing the outside as well as the internal equipment. Many chemicals can leave deposits on the filters. The suction filter, pressure filter, section filters and nozzle filters should be removed and washed with a brush, in soapy water. You can also leave the filters in soapy water for a few hours.

For more detailed recommendations see:

It is becoming increasingly popular to manage the residues of the spray liquid and the washing water from the equipment through bioremediation, i.e. the use of biological methods (Biobed, Phytobac® and Biofilter or Vertibac). This method is based on the preparation of a biologically active bed, which will be able to decompose the substances contained in the residues of the spray liquid. The lifetime of the bioremediation bed in bioremediation sites is more than 10 years, depending on the nature of the agents being eliminated. After the useful life, the bed should be composted for six months and then used as an organic fertiliser.

Spray residues can also be dehydrated, which involves the evaporation of water, which will reduce the volume of waste to be disposed of. It will not be necessary to dispose of the water contained in the washings, which will significantly reduce the cost of managing this waste (Heliosec® and Osmofilm® technologies), but the resulting waste must be submitted for effective disposal – usually by incineration.

Grease, contaminated fuel and used oil should be collected separately, stored until handed over to a company which recovers or recycles this type of waste or handed over to a collector with the relevant decisions entered in the register of the Marshall of the Voivodship.

It is important to remember that waste is always dealt with on the basis of a Waste Transfer Note (WTP). By keeping the KPO for inspection, we have confirmation of proper waste handling on our part.

A very good source of practical knowledge is “GOOD PRACTICE for the handling of plant protection products” and “SAFE WORKING WITH CHEMICAL PLANT PROTECTION PRODUCTS”:

Single-use protective clothing contaminated with chemicals, damaged or worn out, is subject to waste regulations. It is treated as hazardous waste and must be sent for disposal. Out-of-date, incomplete plant protection products must be disposed of by licensed professional companies. By handing them over to professionals, we can be sure that they will not be misused. The use of expired preparations in agriculture poses a risk to crops, the operator and consumers. Preparations with an expiry date are not guaranteed to work properly and therefore will not fulfil their purpose of protecting crops. Due to possible decomposition processes, they become useless and sometimes even dangerous. Until they are disposed of, they should be stored in a hazardous waste warehouse, in sealed, lockable and labelled containers.