Pesticide Collection events will be going on around the state to help Mainers safely dispose of unwanted pesticides, but time is running out to get pre-registered.

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry's Board of Pesticides Control is teaming up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to offer this program. Known as the Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program, it has successfully kept more than 99 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since its start in 1982.

DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb says pesticides that have been thrown in the trash or poured down the drain contaminate drinking water and can cause environmental damage. Pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides.

So this free annual collection program will visit Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta, and Portland in October to give residents a safe way to rid themselves of outdated or unwanted chemicals. The pesticides will be gathered and then safely disposed of at out-of-state disposal facilities, where they will be incinerated or reprocessed. Pre-registration is required for the program. For more information on how to sign up, log onto the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry's website.