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Publication #PI-48

Operation Cleansweep for Pesticides1

Frederick M. Fishel2

Operation Cleansweep is a mobile collection program that provides agricultural producers, nursery and golf course operators, and pest control services a safe and economical method of disposing of cancelled, suspended and unusable pesticides. Proper disposal can be expensive and place a regulatory burden on small agricultural producers and companies. Operation Cleansweep offers an opportunity to avoid these barriers and to promote safe and environmentally sound pesticide use, handling, and disposal. Operation Cleansweep was initiated in 1995 with original intent of collecting lead arsenate, a widely used pesticide in Florida citrus production, but banned for use by the EPA in 1978. During 1995, Operation Cleansweep collected more than 70,000 pounds of lead arsenate. Statewide surveys have identified substantial quantities of cancelled, suspended and unusable pesticides stored throughout Florida. Some of these materials have been in confinement for many years and were in containers unsuitable for proper storage. Some—such as chlordane and DDT—are no longer allowed to be used.

Operation Cleansweep provides for a contractor to come directly to a farm or pesticide application business for pickup and disposal of pesticides when there is a sufficient quantity in a defined area. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, with the help of UF/IFAS Extension agents, county solid waste personnel, product dealers, and trade associations, will collect names, addresses, quantities, and types of cancelled, suspended and unusable pesticides from participants and verify this information.

For more information, contact Shannon Turner ( at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by calling (850) 617-7853, or visit Figure 1 below shows a program flyer for Operation Cleansweep.

Partners and Representatives

  • Florida Peanut Producers Association

  • Florida Turfgrass Association

  • Florida Farm Bureau

  • Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association

  • Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association

  • Florida Landscape Maintenance Association

  • Certified Pest Control Operators

  • Florida Pest Management Association

  • Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association

  • Florida Tomato Committee

  • Florida Forestry Association

  • University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)

  • Florida Citrus Mutual

  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Figure 1. 



This document is PI-48, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date June 2005. Revised November 2010, October 2014, and August 2017. Visit the EDIS website at


Frederick M. Fishel, professor, Agronomy Department, and director, Pesticide Information Office; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.