Farmers offered free disposal of unwanted chemicals

22 Oct 2019

Farmers with unwanted, unlabelled or out-of-date chemicals lurking in their sheds and stores can get them safely disposed of free of charge, courtesy of United Utilities. 

The water company is offering a pesticides and poisons amnesty to farmers in its drinking water catchments, with no questions asked, to prevent chemicals being poured down the drain or on to land and potentially polluting groundwater and watercourses in Cheshire.

Farmers eligible for this free service include those located in United Utilities’ River Dee, Llangollen Canal, River Dane and Cheshire Borehole drinking water safeguard zones.

Dr. Kate Snow, southern area catchment manager, explained: “We run this offer regularly to allow farmers and landowners to dispose of illegal and out-of-date pesticides. This year, we’re widening the amnesty to include our Cheshire Borehole catchments.

“It’s illegal to store or use unapproved or out-of-date pesticides. However, many farmers have forgotten bottles and jars with unknown contents or stores of chemicals that they couldn’t use before the pesticide license expired or went out-of-date. It can be difficult and costly to legally dispose of these chemicals which is why we are offering this disposal scheme.

“If you are, or think you may be, in possession of illegal or unknown chemicals, please contact your local catchment adviser and arrange for free disposal so that together we can protect rivers and streams across our region.”

The amnesty is running until spring 2020. Since the scheme began, more than three tonnes of waste pesticides have been collected and safely disposed of. 

Products accepted for disposal include those with a MAPP, MAFF, PSPS or ACAS registration number. Generally this includes agricultural and horticultural products approved as herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, vertebrate control products and growth regulators. Unlabelled or unknown products are also accepted. 

For details about the amnesty please contact your relevant catchment advisor:

River Dee and Llangollen Canal - Robert Llewellyn-Smith on 07979 350185 or

Upper Dane and Cheshire Boreholes - Veronika Moore on 07917 750379 or 

Wirral and Warrington Borehole – Elena Morris on 07917 750378 or 

For more information on this release please contact Clare Vincent in the United Utilities press office on: 07904 112484.

Notes for Editors

United Utilities

United Utilities is the UK’s largest listed water company and manages the regulated water and wastewater network in North West England – which includes Cumbria, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside with a combined population of nearly seven million. 

United Utilities’ headquarters are in Warrington. Its shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE 100 Index. In 2018 the company was awarded World Class Status in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the eleventh year in succession. In 2018 the company was also accredited with the Service Mark by the Institute of Customer Service.