A farmer in Roscommon safely disposed of 4kg of cyanide over the weekend, “enough to wipe out most of the county”.
The farmer, who had kept the highly toxic chemical in his shed over 40 years, brought it to a farm hazardous waste collection organised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Roscommon town on Saturday.
Environmental officer with Roscommon County Council Suzanne Dempsey told Shannonside FM that "the chemicals expert that was on site during the day said that it was enough to wipe out most of the county".
Cyanide was once widely used as a pesticide to kill rodents, according to the EPA, who said they do occasionally receive “heritage nasties” such as this at collection centres.
“In the absence of a disposal route, farmers are hanging onto these substances so it is great to be able to offer a safe route to clear these ‘heritage’ nasties,” a spokeswoman for the EPA said.
The EPA said they also received a quantity of one of the ingredients used to make Agent Orange during the collection day in Roscommon.
Agent Orange is a herbicide which was made famous during the Vietnam War when the United States used it to destroy crops.