Turning raw materials into consumer products generates waste. This production waste includes waste from both agricultural and manufacturing. Agricultural waste consists of things like pesticide waste, discarded pesticide containers, plastics such as silage wrap, bags and sheets, packaging waste, old machinery, oil and waste veterinary medicines. Manufacturing waste, as you would expect from the vast range of products produced and processes involved, is a very diverse group. The waste generated depends on the technology used, the nature of the raw material processed and how much of it is discarded at the end of the chain. Very often manufacturing wastes end up in the hazardous category.

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Mountains of obsolete pesticides are stockpiled in Africa. Problems with labelling, storage, and the supply of unsuitable products, means that they sit around unused, some for as long as 40 years. They include poisons long ago banned (e.g. DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane, heptachlor, and others). In some cases the pesticides have leaked from damaged containers. Unable to dispose of them safely the likelihood is that the piles will continue to grow.

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