The Great Manitoba Clean Farms Challenge asks farmers to share their environmentally friendly farming practices

November 29, 2013, Winnipeg, MB – Canada’s leading agricultural stewardship organization, Cleanfarms is calling all Manitoba farm families to take The Great Manitoba Clean Farms Challenge and show the positive differences being made to our environment by farmers across the province.

Families owning and operating commercial farms in Manitoba are being invited to share stories and examples of the environmentally friendly practices that they have implemented on their farms. The challenge is designed to help create a dialogue in the province on the innovative eco-solutions that are happening on local farms and profile how farmers are tackling issues like reducing, reusing and recycling agricultural waste. After launching in Manitoba it is hoped the response will lead to a rollout of Clean Farms Challenges across Canada.

“We know that farmers are incredibly environmentally conscious people. You have to be when your livelihood is so intimately tied to the land. What this challenge does is provide an outlet for farmers in Manitoba to share what they’re already doing, and helps us at Cleanfarms get out there and show the broader community the good environmental work that is occurring on farms in every corner of the province,” says Barry Friesen, General Manager of Cleanfarms Inc.

The challenge launched early this week online at www.cleanfarmschallenge.com and through social media channels. Families owning and operating commercial farms in Manitoba are eligible to enter. Entries can take a variety of forms, from written explanations of farm practices, to illustrations, photos, videos, or audio files. The challenge closes on April 30, 2014 and after that date an expert panel of industry judges will join with Barry Friesen to pick the top four entries received. The criteria the judges will use to pick the top entries includes: demonstrating best practices in farm stewardship; innovation; family participation; reference to recycling programs; management of obsolete material; and impact on soil, air, and water quality.

The top three finalists will each win the latest Apple iPad Air (64 GB) and the Grand Prize winning family will win a Deluxe Hockey Weekend for four in Winnipeg during the 2014 NHL Regular Season. The best entry from a Manitoba high school student in Grade 11 or 12 will also win a $1000 educational honorarium. Cleanfarms will announce the finalists at the end of May.

About Cleanfarms Inc.

Cleanfarms Inc. is a not-for-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural waste. Our programs manage agricultural plastic and other inorganic waste from farms across Canada and have earned a reputation of excellence around the world. Cleanfarms offers programs to help farmers responsibly manage the waste products they generate on the farm. We work together with farmers, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, municipalities and provinces to create a safe, healthy and sustainable environment.

For more information on The Great Manitoba Clean Farms Challenge please contact:

Russell Jeffrey
Principal, Coupland Jeffrey
jrjeffrey@couplandjeffrey.ca
(204) 927-9303
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Great-Manitoba-Clean-Farms-Challenge
Twitter: @Clean_Farms_Win

Obsolete pesticide collection campaign comes to Newfoundland

November 6, 2013, Toronto, ON – On November 6 and 7, farmers are invited to safely and responsibly dispose of their unwanted or obsolete agricultural pesticides.

The collection program is operated by Cleanfarms, an industry-led, national not-for-profit agricultural waste management organization and is supported by CropLife Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Environment and Conservation.

“Cleanfarms is committed to collecting unwanted or obsolete agricultural pesticides in an environmentally responsible way, at no cost to farmers,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms.

Newfoundland’s farmers have a long history of good stewardship practices. Since 1988 they have returned more than 3,700 kilograms of obsolete pesticides. Nationally, the program has collected more than 1.8 million kilograms of obsolete or unwanted pesticides for safe disposal since it began in 1998.

After collection, the pesticides are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are disposed of through high temperature incineration.

The following two locations will be accepting obsolete or unwanted agricultural pesticides on the dates specified below from 9 am until 4 pm.

• Lewisporte Highway Depot – Wednesday November 6
― 6 km north of TransCanada/Route 340 intersection on Route 340

• Steel Mountain Highway Depot – Thursday November 7
― Service road 100 m east of Steele Mountain Ultramar Gas Bar

Cleanfarms receives gold at the 2013 RCO Waste Minimization Awards

October 25, 2013, Toronto, ON – Canada’s leading agricultural stewardship organization, Cleanfarms, has been awarded a gold program operator award at the annual Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) Waste Minimization Awards.

This award recognizes outstanding performance from waste diversion program operators, recyclers and processors involved in residential or Industrial, Commercial & Institutional (IC&I) collection and/or processing.

“We are honoured to be recognized by our recycling peers in Ontario,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms. “Good stewardship only happens when the entire value chain is engaged, so we share this recognition with Ontario’s farmers and the many other groups who support our efforts.”

This isn’t the first time the plant science industry received top marks for its stewardship initiatives. Earlier this year, Cleanfarms was awarded the 2012 Ontario Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

“Environmental sustainability, which includes waste diversion, is a top priority for Ontario farmers,” says Mark Wales, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “It is especially nice to see that our efforts are being recognized by those outside of the farming community.”

Waste diversion is a longstanding industry commitment for Ontario’s agricultural sector. The empty pesticide container program, now one of Canada’s longest running voluntary stewardship programs, was launched in 1989. The industry’s commitment to end of life management of its products grew with the creation of the obsolete pesticide collection program and empty pesticide bag program in 1998 and 2006 respectively.

In recent years, Cleanfarms has broadened its focus by piloting collection programs for plastic pots, trays, and seed and pesticide bags.

For more information on Cleanfarms’ work in Ontario, please visit www.cleanfarms.ca. For more information, please contact:

Francine Charbonneau
(613) 230-9881 ext. 3223
charbonneauf@croplife.ca

Cleanfarms recognized for environmental excellence

July 31, 2013, Toronto, ON – Canada’s leading agricultural stewardship organization, Cleanfarms, has been awarded the 2012 Ontario Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

This award recognizes outstanding achievement, leadership and innovation in environmental protection. Cleanfarms won the award for the non-governmental organization category.

“We are thrilled that Cleanfarms has been recognized for its contributions to protecting Ontario’s environment. We share this honour with our members, Ontario farmers, agricultural retailers and the many stakeholders who all play a role in making our programs so successful,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms.

The plant science industry broke new ground when the empty pesticide container program, now one of Canada’s longest running voluntary stewardship programs, was launched in 1989. The industry’s commitment to end of life management of its products grew with the creation of the obsolete pesticide collection program and empty pesticide bag program in 1998 and 2006 respectively. This year, the empty pesticide container program was expanded to include fertilizer jugs and pails.

“Ontario farmers are committed to the stewardship of their land. By using these programs, we are conserving landfill space, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy use and lowering pollutant emissions,” says Don McCabe, president of the Soil Conservation Council of Canada. “The strong farmer participation in these programs is credit to everyone involved.”

In recent years, the organization has broadened its focus by piloting collection programs for plastic pots, trays, bale and boat wrap, and working with a multi-stakeholder committee to examine how to divert other non-organic agricultural waste streams from Ontario landfills. This work was partially funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food through the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem.

For more information on Cleanfarms’ work in Ontario, please visit www.cleanfarms.ca.

For more information about the award, please visit http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/about/EnvironmentalExcellence/.

New Brunswick farmers turn in more than 13,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides

ETOBICOKE, ON, May 3, 2013 – New Brunswick farmers turned in more than 13,000 kilograms of unwanted or obsolete pesticides for safe disposal last year.

The program took place at 12 ag retail locations across the province through the end of October and into early November where farmers brought in 13,370 kilograms of product.

“New Brunswick farmers are hard-working, busy people and their participation in this program just goes to show how committed they are to stewardship and protecting the environment,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms.

Cleanfarms is the national, industry-led agricultural stewardship organization that operates the program. Since the program began in 1998, New Brunswick farmers have turned in more than 30,860 kilograms of obsolete or unwanted pesticides for safe disposal. Nationally, the program has collected more than 1.8 million kilograms of obsolete or unwanted pesticides for safe disposal since it began.

After collection, the pesticides are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are safely disposed through high- temperature incineration.

“The Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick is pleased to be closely associated with the Cleanfarms organization and its untiring commitment to fostering the environmentally responsible handling of pesticides and containers,” says Gerry Gartner, chief operations officer of the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick. “The Alliance, through its environmental farm plan activity, champions the responsible disposal of pesticide container as a logical extension of its overall environmental enhancement efforts with New Brunswick farmers.”

The obsolete pesticide collection program generally comes to the province every three years and is free for farmers to participate in. In between collections, farmers are asked to safely store their unwanted pesticides until they can properly dispose of them through the obsolete pesticide collection program.

“Farmers responsibly use pesticides to improve their operations and grow a safe and abundant food supply for Canadians and when it comes time to dispose of unwanted pesticides, they do it safely and responsibly through a program like ours,” says Friesen.

The program is part of the plant science industry’s commitment to responsible lifecycle management of its products.

Backgrounder

The obsolete pesticide collection program was launched by industry in 1998 as part of its commitment to the responsible lifecycle management of its products. In 2010, Cleanfarms was formed to manage industry-funded agricultural waste management programs, including the obsolete pesticide collection program.

What are pesticides?

Pesticides are substances registered by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) that are used to control pest pressures, including fungi, insects and weeds, that can cause damage to crops.

What kinds of products are collected?

We collect all liquid and dry granular commercially labeled pesticides. They come in all sizes and types of containers from as small as 250 millilitres up to 500 litre totes. They can also include products delivered in multi-walled paper and plastic bags. The products are mainly for farm use but may also include obsolete pesticides from golf courses, commercial landscape operations and structural pest control.

Why do obsolete pesticides exist?

Farmers and applicators can generate obsolete pesticides for a number of different reasons, including:

  • They may have saved product one year and decided to use a new product the next year;
  • A farmer may have leftover pesticides from previous years that has become de-registered and no longer legal for use;
  • Farm ownership can change leaving the new owner with leftover product on site;
  • Farmers may start growing different crops that require different pest control products than what they currently have; and
  • Pest pressures can change from when farmers first purchase products leaving them with unusable products leftover.

 

How are obsolete products handled and destroyed after they have been returned?

All products are safely disposed using specialized high-temperature incineration, which is the most environmentally responsible disposal option. The incineration facility that Cleanfarms normally uses is approved by Environment Canada and is located in northern Alberta. It is a world-class facility developed and built specifically for the management of hazardous waste.

Obsolete pesticides returned during the collection process are safely packed in leak-proof containers and transported by a licensed and insured hazardous waste hauler. When properly packaged and handled by trained professionals, these products do not pose a health and safety risk.

What safety measures are in place to manage potential spills?

Cleanfarms and its contractors have very detailed emergency response plans in place to manage any accidents or spills that may occur. Since the program began in 1998, there have not been any spills or accidents.

B.C. farmers turn in more than 47,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides

Etobicoke, ON, April 25, 2013 – Farmers in British Columbia turned in more than 47,000 kilograms of obsolete or unwanted pesticides in 2012 for safe disposal.

The program took place across the Peace Region in August and moved to the Interior and Okanagan in October. In 2011, the program ran in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. Over the course of the two-year period, B.C. farmers turned in more than 67,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides.

“We’re very pleased to see back-to-back years of successful collections in the province,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms. “B.C. farmers’ participation in this program shows how committed they are to protecting the environment and making responsible decisions on their farms.”

The obsolete pesticide collection program is operated by Cleanfarms, a national industry-led agricultural waste stewardship organization. Since 1998, B.C. farmers have turned in almost 254,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides.

The most recent phase of the program was funded in part by the Agriculture Environment and Wildlife Fund of the B.C. Investment Agriculture Foundation through the Agri-Food Futures Fund, a trust jointly funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture. It was delivered by ARDCorp, the program delivery arm of the B.C. Agriculture Council.

“I commend the leadership shown by Cleanfarms in taking responsibility for developing the program through partnerships within their sector of the industry and with agencies, producers and local governments,” says Greg Norton, chair of the Agriculture Environment Initiatives Management Committee. “The excellent response by producers is a credit to everyone involved.”

After collection, the pesticides are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are safely disposed of through high- temperature incineration.

The obsolete pesticide collection program is delivered in regions of the province every three years and is free for farmers to participate in. In between collections, farmers are asked to safely store their unwanted pesticides until they can properly dispose of them through the obsolete pesticide collection program.

The program is part of the plant science industry’s commitment to responsible lifecycle management of its products. For more information visit Cleanfarms.ca

First ever joint obsolete pesticide and animal health products collection in Manitoba a success

April 15, 2013 – Etobicoke, ON – Manitoba farmers returned almost 75,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides and 340 kilograms of food animal medications for safe disposal last year in a first-of-its kind joint collection program.

, a national industry-led agricultural waste stewardship organization, has run an obsolete pesticide collection program twice before in the province but last year it partnered with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) to include food animal medications for the first time.

“It’s always a good thing when we can offer expanded programs to help farmers responsibly manage waste on their farms. Partnering with the Canadian Animal Health Institute was a big success and we hope to build on this in the future,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms.

Farmers were invited to participate in the program, at no charge, by dropping off their obsolete or unwanted agricultural pesticides and food animal medications over a three day-period at 20 collection sites throughout the province in October.

“Members of the Canadian Animal Health Institute were pleased to partner with Cleanfarms in their recent collection of obsolete pesticides, which was expanded to include expired and un-used food animal medications. This pilot demonstrated that a simple, one- stop collection point for both pesticides and animal medications is a valuable service that we can offer to farmers,” said Jean Szkotnicki, President CAHI.

Funding for this program was also provided by the Manitoba Conservation Sustainable Development Innovation Fund (SDIF) and the Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Agricultural Sustainability Initiative (ASI) Fund.

Since 1998, Manitoba farmers have returned almost 220,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides. After collection, the pesticides are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are safely disposed through high-temperature incineration.
“We support this important program, and we promote it extensively,” said Doug Chorney, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers, one of the program partners. “The overwhelming uptake by Manitoba farmers is an indication of their commitment to sustainable farming practices.”

The obsolete pesticide collection program generally comes to the province every three years. In between collections, farmers are encouraged to safely store their unwanted pesticides until they can properly dispose of them through the obsolete pesticide collection program.

The Cleanfarms obsolete pesticide collection program is part of the plant science industry’s commitment to responsible lifecycle management of its products.

Alberta farmers turn in more than 66,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides for safe disposal in 2012

Etobicoke, ON – April 11, 2013 – Alberta farmers demonstrated their commitment to environmental stewardship by turning in more than 66,000 kilograms of obsolete or unwanted pesticides for safe disposal last year.

The obsolete pesticide collection program took place across the southern half of the province over a five-day period between Oct. 29 and Nov. 2 where farmers dropped off old or unwanted pesticides.“

“Farmers are some of the very best stewards of the land and their participation in this program serves to highlight that,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms, which operates the program. “They responsibly use pesticides to improve their operations and grow a safe supply of food for Canadians and when it comes time to dispose of unwanted pesticides, they do it safely and responsibly through a program like ours.”

Cleanfarms is a national industry-led agricultural waste stewardship organization. The obsolete pesticide collection program has been operating since 1998 and since then, Alberta farmers have turned in 203,889 kilograms of obsolete pesticides.

“This program creates a win-win situation; farmers are given the opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted pesticides through this easy- to-use program and by doing so, they take an important step toward protecting the environment,” says Lynn Jacobson, President of Wild Rose Agricultural Producers.

After collection, the pesticides are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are safely disposed through high- temperature incineration.

The obsolete pesticide collection program generally comes to the province every three years and is free for farmers to participate in. In 2013, the program will run in the northern half of the province. In between collections, farmers are asked to safely store their unwanted pesticides until they can properly dispose of them through the obsolete pesticide collection program.

The program is part of the plant science industry’s commitment to responsible lifecycle management of its products. For more information visit Cleanfarms.ca

Saskatchewan farmers returned more than 60,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides last year

Feb. 6, 2013 – Etobicoke, ON – Saskatchewan farmers turned in more than 60,000 kilograms of obsolete or unwanted pesticides last year for safe disposal.

The program took place over a three day-period in central and northern Saskatchewan where almost 60,400 kilograms were collected. This, combined with the more than 35,000 kilograms collected the previous year in southern Saskatchewan makes for a total of 95,400 kilograms of obsolete pesticides collected over a two-year period from Saskatchewan farmers.

“We’re very pleased to see two years of successful collections in the province,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms. “Saskatchewan farmers are responsible land stewards and their participation in this program is a testament to their commitment.”

The obsolete pesticide collection program is operated by Cleanfarms, a national industry-led agricultural waste stewardship organization.

Since 1998, Saskatchewan farmers have turned in almost 380,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides. After collection, the pesticides are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are safely disposed through high-temperature incineration.

“The success of this program shows that Saskatchewan farmers want to dispose of their unwanted or obsolete pesticides in a safe and environmentally responsible way. We’re grateful that programs like the one offered by Cleanfarms provides this opportunity,” says Norman Hall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan.

The obsolete pesticide collection program generally comes to the province every three years and is free for farmers to participate in. In between collections, farmers are asked to safely store their unwanted pesticides until they can properly dispose of them through the obsolete pesticide collection program.

The program is part of the plant science industry’s commitment to responsible lifecycle management of its products.

Consultations to develop agricultural plastics program begin

January 30, 2013 – Regina, SK – Consultations on an agricultural plastics recycling program began today in Regina. Farm organizations, municipalities, environmental groups, plastics recyclers and waste haulers are being asked for their input on how to manage agricultural plastic waste such as plastic grain bags, plastic twine, silage bags and bale wrap.

The Ministry of Environment has contracted Cleanfarms Inc. to develop an industry-led program to recycle agricultural plastics and has directed the non-profit recycling organization to ensure that Saskatchewan stakeholders have an opportunity to weigh in on possible outcomes.

“The Ministry of Environment is moving forward to develop regulations that will require industry stewards to create an agricultural plastics recycling program,” Assistant Deputy Minister Mark Wittrup said. “This stewardship approach is consistent with other successful industry-led recycling programs in Saskatchewan, such as electronic waste, scrap tires, used oil or waste paint.”

Currently, agricultural producers have very few options available to properly handle and dispose of these plastic materials. The move toward this new program supports the Province of Saskatchewan’s Plan for Growth in the agricultural sector by looking for innovative ways to reduce the pressure on local infrastructure.

“Recycling empty pesticide containers is a well-established practice for many Saskatchewan farmers, thanks to an industry-led initiative, and now it’s time for other industries to follow suit,” said Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms. “Fortunately, we have a strong template to draw from and a very engaged stakeholder community, both of which will help form the basis of a successful program.”

The Saskatchewan Agricultural Stewardship Council (SASC) made up of representatives from the agricultural industry and formed under the Cleanfarms umbrella has been tasked to develop and implement an agricultural plastics recycling program.

The SASC has also formed an advisory committee that will ensure that Saskatchewan growers, recycling organizations and rural municipalities have the opportunity to provide input. Additional information about this initiative is available at www.cleanfarms.ca/SASC/. The work of the advisory committee will conclude at the end of June 2013.

Cleanfarms is a non-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural waste.