Pesticide Container Recycling Program for Registrants of Agricultural/Structural Use Products

For information on disposal and recycling of homeowner-use pesticides and pesticide containers, visit, or call 1-800-CLEAN-UP.

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In January of 2009, California established a new law for recycling rigid, non-refillable, high density, polyethylene (HDPE) pesticide containers of 55 gallons or less. FAC 12841.4 requires every registrant of any production agricultural- or structural-use pesticide product sold for use in California to participate in a recycling program. The recycling requirements were designed to enhance and strengthen existing voluntary efforts to recycle HDPE containers and divert used containers away from landfills.


HDPE containers can be identified by an embossed #2 recycling symbol found on the bottom of the plastic container. They need to be triple rinsed before being offered for recycling. Collected containers are then chipped and used to make things such as: fence posts, pallets, speed bumps, marine pilings, drain tiles and various other industrial supplies. There are several recycling providers and locations in California. For a list of these providers, please email

Recycling Rate

The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is responsible for estimating a recycling rate for HDPE containers. How is the rate determined? The rate consists of a three-year rolling average calculated by dividing the "actual pounds of HDPE containers collected in California" by the "pounds of HDPE containers sold into California." DPR currently uses data from the Ag Container Recycling Council to calculate this rate, which represents approximately 90% of the containers recycled in California.

The Estimated Recycling Rate is 45% based on a three-year rolling average for years 2020, 2021, and 2022. DPR uses the most recent data to complete the three-year rolling average. The accuracy of the recycling rate may be impacted due to many factors including but not limited to: product sold into California and then resold into other states, weather impacts, container size trends, crop changes, and inventory carry over. These numbers do reflect the impacts of COVID and the reduced containers recycled in 2020 and 2021.

Recycling Container Slideshow

For content questions, contact:
Mill Assessment Office
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95814-4015
Phone: 916-445-4159