Ag Container Recycling

Aerial Application operators across the country have partnered with the Ag Container Recycling Council (ACRC), a not-for-profit organization that safely collects and recycles empty pesticide containers. These containers, made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), are collected at 1,500 approved collection points around the U.S. where professional contractors process the HDPE and sell it for re-use. End-uses of this recycled HDPE is used for the following:

  • Agriculture drain pipe
  • Highway sign posts
  • Highway and agricultural fence posts
  • Underground utility conduit
  • Wire and cable spool (reel) flanges
  • Agrochemical composite IBC platforms
  • Industrial pallets for ag chemical and seed packaging
  • Rebar chairs
  • Landscape edging
  • Nursery Pots
In September 2019, the ACRC announced their contractors collected the 200 millionth pound of HDPE since the program was started in 1992.  The first 100-million-pound milestone was accomplished in 2008 after 16 years of collection. With this second 100-million-pound milestone accomplished in only 11 years, the next 100-million-pound milestone is expected to occur in seven years based on the current collection rate.

Aerial applicators treat 28% of our nation’s commercial cropland according to NAAA’s 2019 Aerial Application Industry Survey.  This does not include pasture and rangeland, forestry, aquatic, public health, right away and other vegetative management applications done by air.  Using this percentage of 28%, aerial applicators are responsible for helping to recycle 56 million pounds of HDPE in the past decade and a half. Recycling that much plastic is an energy-savings equivalent to saving 43,019,361 gallons of gasoline. This is also equivalent to the energy consumption of 57,518 average American houses for a year.

If you would like more information about recycling pesticide containers visit the Ag Container Recycling Council at, or or call at (877) 952-2272.