Six Collection Locations Added to ‘Alberta Ag-plastic. Recycle It!’ Grain Bag and Twine Recycling Program

– Number of collection sites across Alberta expanded to 26 – 

Lethbridge, AB (October 21, 2020) – As of early October, six new locations came onboard as collection sites that are open and ready to accept empty agricultural grain bags and used twine for recycling. This increases the total number of collection locations in the ‘Alberta Ag-plastic. Recycle It!’ pilot program from 20 to 26.

The six new sites include:

  • Clear Hills County at the Cleardale Transfer Station
  • County of Forty Mile No. 8 at the Foremost Transfer Station
  • County of Minburn at the Mannville Waste Transfer Station
  • Cypress County at the Hilda Transfer Station
  • Flagstaff County at the Flagstaff Waste Regional Landfill
  • MD of Provost at the Provost Regional Landfill

The list of existing collection sites can be found on the Cleanfarms website on the Alberta Ag-plastic. Recycle It!’ pilot program page. Most existing sites are currently taking rolled, tied grain bags of any size, and twine for recycling. Some, however, just take grain bags and a few take only twine.

“The pilot is on track with plans to expand access to grain bag and twine recycling collection sites. Ensuring Alberta farmers have every opportunity to recycle these plastic ag materials is imperative,” said Cleanfarms’ Executive Director Barry Friesen. “The plastics used in these agricultural tools are valuable resources and should be recovered and recycled in a circular economy.”

Cleanfarms operates the ‘Alberta Ag-plastic. Recycle It!’ pilot on behalf of the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group (APRG) and started collection in October 2019. The project is being funded through a grant from the Government of Alberta and administered by Alberta Beef Producers.

Lisa Sulz sees this recycling program as a win-win for everyone. She is the agricultural fieldman for Cypress County which surrounds Medicine Hat.

“If we can keep these plastics out of the environment and recycle them, then why not. The more we can keep out of landfill and the environment, the better. Grain bags are bulky and take up a lot of room in landfill cells, and cells are expensive to build,” she said. “There is no question that county rate payers benefit from this agricultural recycling program.”

Stacey Barrows, who with her husband, Brent, farms 4,300 acres in the County of Forty Mile, in the southeast corner of Alberta, said farmers always want to be good stewards of their land.

“If we want our families to be able to stay on the farm, we need to think about the environment as a whole — the land, water, and air. We all need to recycle not only to keep our farms healthy, but also to teach younger generations to be stewards of the land, too,” Stacey emphasized.

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About Cleanfarms

Cleanfarms is a non-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural plastic packaging and product waste. Recycled agricultural plastics are made into new products such as farm drainage tile, flexible irrigation pipe and plastic bags. Cleanfarms.ca

About the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group 

The APRG is a group made up of over 20 stakeholder organizations from sectors across Alberta representing municipalities, producers, non-profits, recyclers and retailers among others. For a full list of members and more details please visit www.aprg.ca.

Media Contacts

Barbara McConnell, Cleanfarms | 416-452-2373 | bmcconnell@cleanfarms.ca
Tammy Schwass, APRG | 403-835-6467 | tammy@albertaplasticsrecycling.com

 

The pilot project is led by the multi-stakeholder Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group; funds were granted by the Government of Alberta and are administered by Alberta Beef Producers.

Cleanfarms is Collecting Unwanted Agricultural Pesticides and Old Livestock/Equine Medications in Prince Edward Island this Fall

Containers of unwanted pesticides and old livestock/equine medications recovered at a recent Cleanfarms collection event.

(ETOBICOKE, ON) – This fall, farmers in Prince Edward Island (PEI) can safely dispose of unwanted agricultural pesticides and old, obsolete livestock and equine medications through a Cleanfarms clean-up program.

Cleanfarms is operating the collection events at seven local ag retailer locations from November 2 to 13.

“We know farmers wait for this program to come back to their region. It’s their chance to take unused and unwanted ag pesticides and old, obsolete livestock and equine meds to collection sites for safe, environmentally responsible disposal. Through this program, we help farmers keep their farms clean and sustainable. And farmers can dispose of these materials at no cost to them,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen.

The crop protection industry, in partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), covers the full cost of operating the program and disposing of the materials safely.

Since the program began, more than 3.4 million kg of unwanted pesticides and 47,800 kg of obsolete farm animal (cattle, horses, goats, poultry) health medications have been collected across the country.

This year’s PEI collection sites are (in alpha order):

BLOOMFIELD – McCain Fertilizer – 902-969-8100

CHARLOTTETOWN – Cavendish Agri Services – 902-566-5597

NEW PERTH – McCain Fertilizer – 902-969-8100

O’LEARY – Cavendish Agri Services – 902-859-2200

SUMMERSIDE – McCain Fertilizer – 902-969-8100

SUMMERSIDE/KENSINGTON – Cavendish Agri Services – 902-436-4884

TRAVELLER’S REST/SUMMERSIDE – PEI Agromart | Robinsons – 902-436-1600

Collection days are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Other details can be found on Cleanfarms.ca under “what to recycle & where”. This year, COVID precautions will be in place.

Materials accepted in the Cleanfarms program include:

  • old or unwanted agricultural pesticides (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label)
  • commercial pesticides for golf courses and industrial and commercial pest control products (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label)
  • medications that are used in rearing animals in an agricultural context or for equine use (identified with a DIN number, serial number or Pest Control Product number on the label)

The program does NOT accept:

  • fertilizer, diluted solution, large quantities of unopened product, and treated seed
  • needles/sharps, medicated feed, aerosol containers, premises disinfectants/sanitizers, veterinary clinic waste and medications, ear tags, and aerosols
  • any other household hazardous waste.

Cleanfarms rotates the program to regions across Canada every three years. After this year, collection will return to PEI in 2023.

Cleanfarms is a Canadian, non-profit, stewardship organization funded by the agricultural input, crop storage and animal health industries. It delivers recycling and disposal solutions for non-organic waste generated in farm operations. Other Cleanfarms programs collect empty plastic agricultural pesticide and fertilizer containers, grain bags and twine for recycling. Another program operating in eastern Canada collects seed and pesticide bags and in Quebec, fertilizer bags, for responsible disposal.

Cleanfarms works collaboratively with industry members, agricultural organizations and associations, and governments to ensure that Canadian farmers have opportunities to manage agricultural waste responsibly.

Questions about which products are accepted in this collection program can be directed to 877-622-4460 or email Cleanfarms at info@cleanfarms.ca.

www.cleanfarms.ca

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Contact:
Barbara McConnell
media@cleanfarms.ca
P. 613-471-1816
M. 416-452-2373

Cleanfarms’ Programs Demonstrate Waste Reduction Week Circular Economy Goals

Empty pesticide and fertilizer containers for recycling as part of the Cleanfarms collection program. Photo Cleanfarms

ETOBICOKE, ON – Each year, Waste Reduction Week (WRW) is marked in the third week of October when organizations throughout Canada celebrate achievements and commit to work harder to support the principles and practices of the circular economy, resource efficiency and waste reduction. At Cleanfarms, these principles are at the core of programs delivered across the country every single day.

This year, WRW (October 19 – 25) has designated Thursday, October 22 as plastics day, meant to highlight the progress made across multiple sectors from the take-make-waste linear consumption to a circular restorative and regenerative economy.

“Given the central role plastics play as an essential tool in today’s agricultural community, Thursday is a day to recognize the achievements Canadian growers have made, and continue to make toward sustainability in farm operations for present and future generations,” says Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen. “Every year, the number of Canadian farmers who use Cleanfarms’ programs to manage agricultural plastic waste is growing. There’s no doubt that as stewards of their land, they want these programs to collect empty pesticide and fertilizer jugs, drums, totes, grain bags and twine to expand, so that recycling becomes a standard throughout every province”

The 2019 results help to tell the story:

  • Farmers returned and Cleanfarms recycled 5.5 million empty pesticide and fertilizer jugs and containers 23L and under, bringing the total since the container recycling program began more than 30 years ago to 131.5 million jugs recycled.
  • In a relatively new program to recover and recycle non-deposit empty pesticide and fertilizer totes and drums, last year farmers returned 55,400 of them bringing the total recovered since this program began to 183,400.
  • The latest Cleanfarms program to be launched focuses on recovering plastic grain bags. In 2019, with a provincial government extended producer responsibility program in place in Saskatchewan and pilot programs underway in Manitoba and Alberta, the number of tonnes of used ag-waste plastics headed for recycling mills has rapidly climbed. With used grain bags, ag-film wrap and thousands of kilometers of twine combined, Cleanfarms sent 3,700 tonnes of waste ag-plastic to end markets to be recycled into new agricultural products such as drainage tiles.

Progress Toward Resource Efficiency and Circularity in 2020

While 2020 results for container recycling will not be available until spring 2021, indications are that this will be a record-breaking year across Canada, despite COVID-19 challenges, with farmers returning more containers, drums and totes than in any previous year.

Saskatchewan

Equally strong are indications that the number of grain bags collected for recycling in Saskatchewan will continue to climb, bringing more recyclable plastics into the circular economy for processing and remanufacturing.

Manitoba

The provincial government in Manitoba has asked Cleanfarms to help it transition pilot projects to recover ag plastic waste to a permanent producer responsibility program to ensure recycling measures are in place province-wide for empty pesticide and fertilizer containers, grain bags and twine.

Alberta

Under the ‘Alberta Ag-Plastic. Recycle It!’ pilot project, Cleanfarms has set up 20 collection sites across the province that, as of October 1, are accepting used grain bags and twine from growers for recycling. Cleanfarms is set to announce six additional collection sites in the coming days and sights are set on adding another two sites in the Peace Region early in the new year. Cleanfarms runs the ‘Alberta Ag-Plastic. Recycle It!’ pilot on behalf of the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group.

Quebec

In Quebec, farmers’ increasing need to manage about 6,500 tonnes of plastic twine, bale wrap and netting to store hay has led to Cleanfarms establishing a series of pilot projects to identify and test new ways to manage these materials safely and to avoid disposal in landfill.

Working with regions, municipalities, retailers, distributors, recyclers and farmers to test best approaches to recovering these plastics for recycling or energy recovery, Cleanfarms has completed the first phase of doing field research. Currently, Cleanfarms is conducting pilots in the Montérégie Region to assess options for collecting and processing these plastics, and for communicating effectively with farmers on best practices.

In 2021, Cleanfarms will expand the pilot projects to other regions in Québec, and down the road, the aim is to establish and operate an industry-funded program to collect and recycle these materials in a permanent program.
Through these and other programs that are underway or in planning stages, Cleanfarms is helping farmers operate their farms sustainably, reflecting best practices in a circular economy, and celebrating the goals of Waste Reduction Week.

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About Cleanfarms

Cleanfarms is a non-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of inorganic agricultural waste. Funded by its members in the crop protection, crop storage and animal health industries, Cleanfarms develops, implements and operates programs that help farmers manage ag-waste, much of it plastic. Cleanfarms’ programs are available across Canada and have been emulated internationally. The success of these programs highlights the commitment of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, municipalities, provinces and farmers to agricultural environmental responsibility and sustainability. Cleanfarms contributes to a healthier environment and a sustainable future by recovering and recycling agricultural and related industry plastics, packaging and products.

Cleanfarms is Collecting Unwanted Agricultural Pesticides and Old Livestock/Equine Medications in South Saskatchewan this Fall

Containers of unwanted pesticides and old livestock/equine medications recovered at a recent Cleanfarms collection event.

(Moose Jaw, SK) – October 7, 2020 – This fall, farmers in southern Saskatchewan can safely dispose of unwanted agricultural pesticides and old, obsolete livestock and equine medications through a Cleanfarms clean-up program.

Cleanfarms is operating the collection events at 20 local ag retailer locations. Each event will occur on a specific date between October 26 and 30.

“We know farmers wait for this program to come back to their region. It’s their chance to take unused and unwanted ag pesticides and old, obsolete livestock and equine meds to collection sites for safe, environmentally responsible disposal. Through this program, we help farmers keep their farms clean and sustainable. And farmers can dispose of these materials at no cost to them,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen.

The crop protection industry, in partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), covers the full cost of operating the program and disposing of the materials safely.

Since the program began, more than 3.4 million kg of unwanted pesticides and 47,800 kg of obsolete farm animal (cattle, horses, goats, poultry) health medications have been collected across the country.

This year’s collection sites are (in alpha order):

CARLYLE – October 28 – Precision Ag – 306-453-2255

CENTRAL BUTTE – October 28 – Hawk’s Agro – 306-796-4787

CEYLON – October 30 – Ceylon Pulses Ag – 306-454-2245

CORONACH – October 30 – Richardson Pioneer – 306-267-2100

ESTEVAN – October 29 – Richardson Pioneer – 306-634-2342

ESTON – October 26 – Emerge Ag Solutions – 306-962-4132

GRAVELBOURG – October 27 – Hawk’s Agro – 306-648-3110

INDIAN HEAD – October 28 – Nutrien Ag Solutions – 306-695-2311

ITUNA – October 27 – Nutrien Ag Solutions – 306-795-3606

LEADER – October 27- G-Mac’s Ag Team Inc. – 306-628-3886

LEWVAN – October 29 – Synergy AG – 306-789-9493

LUMSDEN – October 30 – Synergy AG Services – 306-731-1200

MAPLE CREEK – October 28 – Richardson Pioneer – 306-662-2420

MOOSE JAW – October 26 – Moose Jaw Co-operative Association Ltd. – 306-692-1661

MOOSOMIN – October 27 – Sharpe’s Soil Services Ltd. – 306-435-3319

RAYMORE – October 26 – Cargill – 306-746-2055

SHAUNAVON – October 29 – Pioneer Coop – 306-297-2662

SOUTH DAVIDSON – October 29 – Richardson Pioneer – 306-567-4778

SWIFT CURRENT – October 30 – Pioneer Coop Agronomy Center – 306-778-8705

WHITEWOOD – October 26 – Richardson Pioneer – 306-735-2626

Events take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Other details can be found on Cleanfarms.ca under “what to recycle & where”. This year, COVID precautions will be in place.

Materials accepted in the Cleanfarms program include:

  • old or unwanted agricultural pesticides (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label)
  • commercial pesticides for golf courses and industrial and commercial pest control products (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label)
  • medications that are used in rearing animals in an agricultural context or for equine use (identified with a DIN number, serial number or Pest Control Product number on the label)

The program does NOT accept:

  • fertilizer, diluted solution, large quantities of unopened product, and treated seed
  • needles/sharps, medicated feed, aerosol containers, premises disinfectants/sanitizers, veterinary clinic waste and medications, ear tags, and aerosols
  • any other household hazardous waste.

Cleanfarms rotates the program to regions across Canada every three years. Next year, in the fall of 2021, it will be held in the northern part of the province. It will return to southern Saskatchewan in 2023.

Cleanfarms is a Canadian, non-profit, stewardship organization funded by the agricultural input, crop storage and animal health industries. It delivers recycling and disposal solutions for non-organic waste generated in farm operations. Other Cleanfarms programs collect empty plastic agricultural pesticide and fertilizer containers, grain bags and twine for recycling. Another program operating in eastern Canada collects seed and pesticide bags and in Quebec, fertilizer bags, for responsible disposal.

Cleanfarms works collaboratively with industry members, agricultural organizations and associations, and governments to ensure that Canadian farmers have opportunities to manage agricultural waste responsibly.

Questions about which products are accepted in this collection program can be directed to 877-622-4460 or email Cleanfarms at info@cleanfarms.ca.

www.cleanfarms.ca

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Photo included/caption: Containers of unwanted pesticides and old livestock/equine medications recovered at a recent Cleanfarms collection event.

Contact:
Barbara McConnell
media@cleanfarms.ca
P. 613-471-1816
M. 416-452-2373

Cleanfarms is Collecting Unwanted Agricultural Pesticides and Old Livestock/Equine Medications in two BC Regions this Fall

Containers of unwanted pesticides and old livestock/equine medications recovered at a recent Cleanfarms collection event.

(Moose Jaw, SK) – September 29, 2020 – This fall, farmers on Vancouver Island and in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia can safely dispose of unwanted agricultural pesticides and old, obsolete livestock and equine medications through a Cleanfarms clean-up program.

Cleanfarms is operating the collection events at seven local ag retailer locations. Each event will occur on a specific date between October 5 and 16.

“We know farmers wait for this program to come back to their regions. It’s their chance to take unused and unwanted ag pesticides and old, obsolete livestock and equine meds to collection sites for safe, environmentally responsible disposal. Through this program, we help farmers keep their farms clean and sustainable. And farmers can dispose of these materials at no cost to them,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen.

The crop protection industry, in partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), covers the full cost of operating the program and disposing of the materials safely.

Since the program began, more than 3.4 million kg of unwanted pesticides and 47,800 kg of obsolete farm animal (cattle, horses, goats, poultry) health medications have been collected.

This year’s collection sites are in (alpha order by region):

Vancouver Island

  • Cumberland – October 5 – Comox Valley Waste Management Centre, 250-336-8083 x 226
  • Duncan – October 6 – Bings Creek Recycling Centre, 250-746-2540
  • Victoria – October 7 – Hartland Landfill, 250-360-3410

Fraser Valley

  • Abbotsford – October 16 – Terralink, 604-864-9044
  • Delta – October 13 – Nutrien Solutions, 604-940-0290
  • Delta – October 14 – Terralink, 604-946-8338
  • Langley – October 15 – Professional Ag Distribution Inc., 604-768-5602

Events take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Other details can be found on Cleanfarms.ca under “what to recycle & where”. This year, COVID precautions will be in place.

Materials accepted in the Cleanfarms program include:

  • old or unwanted agricultural pesticides (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label)
  • commercial pesticides for golf courses and industrial and commercial pest control products (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label)
  • medications that are used in rearing animals in an agricultural context or for equine use (identified with a DIN number, serial number or Pest Control Product number on the label)

The program does NOT accept:

  • fertilizer, diluted solution, large quantities of unopened product, and treated seed
  • needles/sharps, medicated feed, aerosol containers, premises disinfectants/sanitizers, veterinary clinic waste and medications, ear tags, and aerosols
  • any other household hazardous waste.

Cleanfarms rotates the program to regions across Canada every three years. Next year, in the fall of 2021, it will be held in the Okanagan, Interior and Kootenay regions of British Columbia. It will return to Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley in 2023.

Cleanfarms is a Canadian, non-profit, stewardship organization funded by the agricultural input, crop storage and animal health industries. It delivers recycling and disposal solutions for non-organic waste generated in farm operations. Other Cleanfarms programs collect empty plastic agricultural pesticide and fertilizer containers, grain bags and twine for recycling. Another program operating in eastern Canada collects seed and pesticide bags and in Quebec, fertilizer bags, for responsible disposal.

Cleanfarms works collaboratively with industry members, agricultural organizations and associations, and governments to ensure that Canadian farmers have opportunities to manage agricultural waste responsibly.

Questions about which products are accepted in this collection program can be directed to 877-622-4460 or email Cleanfarms at info@cleanfarms.ca.

www.cleanfarms.ca

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Contact:
Barbara McConnell
media@cleanfarms.ca
P. 613-471-1816
M. 416-452-2373

Three-year Cleanfarms Project Focusing on Improving Ag Plastic Recycling

Etobicoke, ON—An innovative multi-year initiative that is helping to recover and recycle plastic used on farms will ramp up this fall, providing more Canadian farmers with opportunities to manage plastic waste in environmentally responsible ways.

Farmers with livestock commonly preserve hay and silage in plastic wrap. Though a beneficial farm tool, the plastic requires end-of-life management. This Cleanfarms project is examining how plastic wrap and other used materials can be recovered for recycling.

The project, funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), has been developed and is being executed by Cleanfarms, the national, non-profit industry stewardship organization that has programs in place across Canada to recover and manage non-organic farm waste, most of it plastic, for recycling or environmentally responsible disposal.

 

Entitled ‘Building a Zero-Plastic Waste Strategy for Agriculture’, the project has three broad-based objectives:

  • to build consensus on the appropriate management of non-organic agricultural waste;
  • to survey farmers to establish current patterns of disposal before and after pilots and education programs; and
  • to demonstrate best practices in ag waste management through pilot programs conducted throughout Canada.

“Our farmers care about the environment, and through investments like this the Government is supporting our farmers in the fight against climate change,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “We are committed to helping farmers become global leaders in sustainable agriculture and be a part of the climate solution by investing in innovative initiatives that promote environmentally-beneficial practices.”

“We know farmers want more opportunities to manage agricultural waste materials in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen. “This project will identify additional options for farmers and agricultural suppliers to incorporate sustainability practices more broadly in their daily operations. In today’s economy, with the emphasis on sustainability and circular thinking, we have a responsibility and a great opportunity right across this country to improve recovery and recycling numbers.”

Canadian agriculture currently uses about 40,000 tonnes of plastics annually in the process of growing crops and raising livestock, most of it in plastic containers, grain bags, twine and bale/silage film. Though plastic is essential throughout the farming industry, managing the end of lifecycle of plastics is a big challenge that requires forward-thinking solutions.

Cleanfarms already operates five permanent programs across Canada, the best known of which collects small plastic containers that are 23 litres and under for recycling. In 2019, farmers returned 5.5 million containers bringing the total number returned since the program began 30 years ago to 131.5 million. The containers are recycled into new agricultural products such as tile drainage pipes.

Other Cleanfarms programs include a national program to collect non-deposit bulk pesticide totes and drums; a national program to collect and properly dispose of unwanted agricultural pesticides and old, obsolete livestock/equine medications; grain bag recycling under a provincially-regulated program in Saskatchewan and pilot programs in Manitoba and Alberta; and seed and pesticide bag collection for proper disposal in eastern Canada with the addition of fertilizer bags in Quebec.

Together, these programs collect about 5,000 tonnes of agricultural plastics for recycling each year, and that number is growing rapidly with the more recent addition of grain bag collection programs. Still, there remains an opportunity to do even more.

“Dairy farmers are leaders in sustainable agriculture and have a vested interest in protecting our environment and preserving our natural resources,” said Pierre Lampron, President, Dairy Farmers of Canada. “Cleanfarms’ initiatives provide much-needed options for proper end-of-lifecycle management of agricultural plastics and dairy farmers are excited to see this project take root.”

The CASPP/Cleanfarms project links with a recent initiative undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada to quantify the types and volumes of on-farm plastic wastes and identify recycling facilities for agricultural plastics across Canada.

About Cleanfarms

Cleanfarms, Canada’s leading agricultural stewardship organization, is best known for its recycling program for empty, commercial pesticide and fertilizer containers and for its unwanted pesticides and animal health medications collection program, both of which are available across the country. Cleanfarms also operates Saskatchewan’s regulated grain bag recycling program. Learn more at www.cleanfarms.ca

Contact: Barbara McConnell, Cleanfarms Media
416-452-2373
bmcconnell@cleanfarms.ca

Cleanfarms is Collecting Unwanted Agricultural Pesticides and Old Livestock/Equine Medications in Four Canadian Regions this Fall

Containers of unwanted pesticides and old livestock/equine medications being returned at a recent Cleanfarms collection event.

(Etobicoke, Ontario) – September 4, 2020 – Cleanfarms is gearing up to run its 2020 fall collection program for unwanted agricultural pesticides and obsolete livestock, equine and poultry medications so that farmers can dispose of these old materials safely and securely.

This year, Cleanfarms is running 65 collection events in four regions:

“Farmers can take unwanted, old and obsolete materials to our Cleanfarms collection sites at no cost to them. The program is designed to help farmers keep their farms clean and sustainable. When they use our program, farmers have peace of mind that Cleanfarms will dispose of the materials safely,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen.

The crop protection industry, in partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), covers the full cost of operating the program and disposing of the materials responsibly.

Since the unwanted pesticides and old livestock/equine medication collections began, the programs have safely disposed of 3.4 million kg of unwanted pesticides and 47,800 kg of obsolete farm animal (cattle, horses, goats, poultry) health medications.

Collection events are scheduled at local agricultural retailers’ sites. Dates and locations can be found on Cleanfarms.ca under “what to recycle & where”. This year, COVID precautions will be in place.

Materials accepted in the Cleanfarms program include:

  • old or unwanted agricultural pesticides (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label)
  • commercial pesticides for golf courses and industrial and commercial pest control products (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label)
  • livestock/equine medications that are used in rearing animals in an agricultural context (identified with a DIN number, serial number or Pest Control Product number on the label)

The program does NOT accept:

  • fertilizer, diluted solution, large quantities of unopened product, and treated seed
  • needles/sharps, medicated feed, aerosol containers, premises disinfectants/sanitizers, veterinary clinic waste and medications, ear tags, and aerosols
  • any other household hazardous waste.

Cleanfarms is a Canadian, non-profit, stewardship organization funded by members in the crop protection, crop storage and animal health industries. It delivers recycling and disposal solutions for non-organic waste generated in farm operations. In addition to the collection program for unwanted pesticides and old livestock/equine medications, Cleanfarms collects empty plastic agricultural pesticide and fertilizer containers, grain bags and twine for recycling. Another program operating in eastern Canada collects seed bags and in Quebec, fertilizer bags, for responsible disposal.

Cleanfarms works collaboratively with industry members, agricultural organizations and associations, and the government to ensure that Canadian farmers have opportunities to manage agricultural waste responsibly.

Questions about which products are accepted in this collection program can be directed to 877-622-4460 or email Cleanfarms at info@cleanfarms.ca.

www.cleanfarms.ca

—30—

Contact:
Barbara McConnell
media@cleanfarms.ca
P. 613-471-1816
M. 416-452-2373

Cleanfarms Posts 2019 Recovery Numbers for Ag-Waste Environmental Programs

ETOBICOKE, ON (June 8, 2020)—Cleanfarms has released its 2019 Annual Report showing that Canadian farmers are strengthening their commitment to land, water and air stewardship by returning ag-plastic waste such as empty pesticide and fertilizer containers and grain bags for recycling.

In its 2019 Annual Report, Cleanfarms released recovery results for its five permanent collection programs comprising single-use plastic pesticide and fertilizer containers that are 23 litres and under; non-deposit bulk pesticide and fertilizer totes and drums; grain bags; unwanted and old pesticides and livestock and equine medications; and seed and pesticide bags collected in Eastern Canada.

In its largest Canada-wide program for pesticide and fertilizer jugs 23 litres and under, farmers returned nearly 5.5 million containers in 2019, bringing the total number collected since the program began 30 years ago to 131.5 million jugs.

Placed end to end, those containers would stretch from St. John’s, NL to Victoria, BC and back three times. Plastic containers are recycled into new products such as farm drainage tile.

Another program that is increasingly important collects empty non-deposit bulk drums and totes ranging in size from 23 to 1,000 litres. These large containers are becoming a more popular choice for delivering pesticides and fertilizer to farms. In 2019, nearly 55,400 empty containers were recovered, representing an increase of 25% by volume over 2018 recovery.

The collection of empty agricultural seed, pesticide and fertilizer bags in Eastern Canada climbed 17% by volume in 2019 compared to 2018. In total, Cleanfarms’ partners collected more than 429,000 kgs, more than half of which was collected in Quebec, where recovery numbers jumped to 282,500 kg compared to 194,000 kgs in 2018. Seed, pesticide and fertilizer bags are collected for environmentally safe disposal.

Recycling grain bags under the Saskatchewan provincially-regulated program posted another successful year in 2019 with 2,256 tonnes of used bags recycled, a 44% increase in volume over 2018. A pilot program in Manitoba to collect used grain bags, bale and silage wrap, and twine recovered 51 tonnes for recycling, up from 34 tonnes in 2018.

At the core of Cleanfarms’ commitment to help farmers manage agriculture packaging and products responsibly is its unwanted pesticide and livestock/equine medications collection program. Operated in partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute, the program provides an essential, no-cost service to farmers allowing them to take old, obsolete materials to Cleanfarms drop-off locations. These materials are transported by a licensed waste hauler to specialized facilities where they are disposed of safely. The program rotates to all regions of Canada every three years. In 2019, farmers in the British Columbia and Alberta Peace Region, Northern Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland returned more than 214,600 kgs of unwanted pesticides and 5,840 kg of obsolete farm animal medications for safe disposal.

“While plastic products like grain bags and containers like jugs and totes are essential tools on Canadian farms, they become ag-waste when farmers are done with them. Cleanfarms’ industry-funded programs give farmers options to manage this non-organic waste, helping them steward their land for present and future generations,” said Cleanfarms General Manager Barry Friesen, adding, “our goal is to keep expanding our programs to offer farmers convenient and effective environmentally sustainable options to manage ag-waste on their farms.”

About Cleanfarms

Created in 2010, Cleanfarms is a Canadian, non-profit, voluntary industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural packaging and product waste. Funded by its members in the crop protection, crop storage and animal health industries, Cleanfarms develops, implements and operates programs that help farmers manage ag-waste, much of it plastic. Cleanfarms partners with a network of agri-retailers and municipalities to provide convenient access points for farmers to return empty containers, grain bags, unwanted pesticides and livestock/equine medications and where collected, seed, pesticide and fertilizer bags. Emulated internationally, Cleanfarms’ programs are available across Canada.

Recovered agricultural plastics are recycled into new products like farm drainage tile and plastic bags.

Cleanfarms currently has offices in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec.

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Cleanfarms.ca

Contact: Barbara McConnell, Cleanfarms Media
416-452-2373
bmcconnell@cleanfarms.ca

Over 10 Years Cleanfarms has Recovered More Than 50,000 MT of Ag-Waste for Recycling or Proper Disposal

To celebrate its 10th Anniversary, Cleanfarms is looking at what’s next?

Empty pesticide and fertilizer cans for recycling as part of the Cleanfarms collection program. Photo Cleanfarms.

(Etobicoke, Ontario– April 17, 2020) – Over a decade of program operations, Cleanfarms has recovered for recycling or proper disposal 51,600 tonnes of plastic and other non-organic ag-waste from Canada’s agricultural sector. These materials consist of empty agricultural plastic jugs and containers; used grain bags; empty seed, pesticide and fertilizer bags; and old, unwanted pesticides and livestock/equine medications.

It’s an accomplishment worth celebrating says General Manager, Barry Friesen, as Cleanfarms marks its 10th anniversary in 2020 with the unveiling of an anniversary logo.

Providing farmers with stewardship opportunities to manage non-organic waste materials is what sets Cleanfarms apart from other agricultural organizations.

“We recognize that we have a moral obligation to farmers and other Canadians to leave our world as good or better environmentally, then when we began,” Friesen says.

He admits that with an estimated 40,000 tonnes of ag plastic generated in the agricultural sector annually, recovering it with a zero-waste mindset is a tall order, but promises Cleanfarms is “just getting started”.

For example, beginning this spring, Cleanfarms gets underway with a first-of-its-kind national scale research project that will provide critical information to help agricultural plastic producers and Canadian farmers boost their ability to recycle agricultural plastic waste.

Funded by the federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada, the first part of the study will be to quantify the types and volumes of on-farm plastic wastes and secondly, identify facilities that can manage or recycle these waste streams with the goal of creating a more circular economy for agricultural plastics.

“The work will advance our understanding of the scope of agricultural waste and drive on-the-ground solutions to help manage plastics and other waste materials to increase recycling rates and improve our ability to incorporate higher levels of recycled content in plastic products. Through this, we plan to transition agriculture as a full participant in the zero-waste circular economy. That’s one of the ways we hope to contribute to a better environment,” Friesen says.

A top ag-waste contender for recycling are empty pesticide and fertilizer jugs. As most pesticides and fertilizers are purchased in the spring, that’s when growers find themselves with dozens of empty jugs and containers. The annual recovery rate for empty jugs stands at an average of 65% compared to the number of jugs Canadian farmers use every year, but Cleanfarms wants 100% of them back for recycling.

“Sixty-five percent is good, but it still leaves lots of ag-plastic jugs that are not finding their way back to the recycling collection system every year. Why? We know farmers want sustainable farm operations. So, we are doing everything we can to work with our partners in ag-retail and municipalities to improve convenience and collection. Now we need more farmers to work with us to get everyone of those containers back,” Friesen says.

Cleanfarms’ mandate is to support agriculture to be both responsible and sustainable in all operations. As a non-profit stewardship organization funded by industry, its vision is to ensure all materials used for food production and animal management achieve the ultimate goal of zero waste.

“Some countries like Germany, France and Brazil have made tremendous strides toward zero waste in agriculture. Cleanfarms believes Canada is a global frontrunner and the same is possible in the next 10 years in Canada,” Friesen says.

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About Cleanfarms

Cleanfarms is a non-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural plastic packaging and product waste. Recycled agricultural plastics are made into new products such as farm drainage tile, flexible irrigation pipe and plastic bags.

Cleanfarms Background

By the end of 2018, the organization had recovered 51,664 metric tonnes of non-organic, ag waste from Canada’s agricultural sector:

  • 45,722 tonnes of empty ag-plastic jugs and containers for recycling
  • 1,400 tonnes of used grain bags, film and twine for recycling
  • 1,300 tonnes of empty seed, pesticide and fertilizer bags for proper disposal
  • 3,242 tonnes of old, unwanted pesticides and livestock/equine medications

Pilot Programs on the Prairies

One of the ways Cleanfarms is making it easier for farmers in Alberta (AB) and Manitoba (MB) to collect and return jugs is by giving them a large return bag when they make their spring pesticide and fertilizer purchases. The bags have been available for awhile in eastern Canada and in Saskatchewan with good results. For example, Quebec farmers return more than 75% of the ag-plastic containers they use on their farms. But in AB and MB, the practice has been to return jugs to collection sites loose or tied together. The large collection bags will give growers in those provinces an easier way to collect and transport empty pesticide and fertilizer jugs from the farm to their municipal collection site and potentially, boost recycling recovery rates.

Pilots and Permanent Programs in Quebec

In Quebec, Cleanfarms is mid-way through a three-year pilot to collect data on recycling agricultural plastics that Cleanfarms hopes will result in the evolution to a permanent industry stewardship program regulated by the province. The program is collecting data on recycling convenience, benefits to the environment and how to achieve low cost operations. Partners in the Cleanfarms pilot include the Montérégie Région and five of its municipal regions, the regional UPA associations and several ag retail collection sites. 

And in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes, Cleanfarms is running programs to collect seed and pesticide bags for proper disposal.  In Québec, this program has just expanded to include fertilizer bags.

Manitoba Transitioning to Regulated Recovery Program

Recovery rates for a range of ag-waste materials should see a lift in Manitoba this year as the province prepares to transition from a government-funded to an industry-funded, regulated stewardship program. Manitoba has been ground zero for testing collection programs for grain bags, bale and silage wrap and twine since 2013 allowing Cleanfarms to gain hands-on recycling experience and to determine what collection and processing options are available. In 2018, Cleanfarms collected 34 tonnes of film and twine for recycling.

Saskatchewan Grain Bag Regulated Recycling Seeing Excellent Results

Cleanfarms is rolling out the Saskatchewan grain bag recycling program under the province’s Agricultural Packaging Product Waste Stewardship Regulations (2016). It is the only government-regulated extended producer responsibility program of its kind in Canada.

Alberta Ag-Plastic. Recycle It! Pilot Recycles Gain Bags and Twine

Taking learnings from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Cleanfarms launched its newest pilot, the ‘Alberta Ag-Plastic. Recycle It!’ program last fall on behalf of the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group. The three-year pilot is being funded through a grant from the Government of Alberta and administered by Alberta Beef Producers. Estimates are that 5,500 tonnes of agricultural plastic (grain bags and twine) is available to be collected for recycling each year.

Unwanted Pesticides and Livestock/Equine Medications Program Continues

In 2020, Cleanfarms will be running its long-standing Unwanted Pesticides and Livestock/Equine Medications collection program, in partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute. The targeted regions this year will be in BC’s Vancouver Island (October 5 – 9) and the Fraser Valley (October 12 – 16), as well as southern Saskatchewan (October 26 – 30), Quebec (September 21 – October 8) and PEI (November 2 – 13).

Cleanfarms Puts Feet on the Ground in Alberta with New Lethbridge Office

Lethbridge, AB – Cleanfarms, a Canada-wide stewardship organization best known for its ag-plastics recycling programs for pesticide and fertilizer jugs and totes and grain bags has opened an Alberta office in Lethbridge.

“Alberta’s importance as an executive hub for agricultural industry is growing. That combined with its position as a Prairie powerhouse for agriculture in Canada, points to the need for Cleanfarms to have feet on the ground in the province, too,” said General Manager Barry Friesen.

Cleanfarms currently has offices in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The Lethbridge office will be staffed by Davin Johnson, an environmental scientist who grew up in Alberta and has worked for the past decade in the province’s oil and gas, academic, government and agricultural sectors. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Lethbridge.

Already familiar with Cleanfarms programs, Davin has helped to organize Cleanfarms’ Unwanted Pesticide and Livestock/Equine Medication Collection program, which collects old and obsolete pesticides and animal health medications from farmers for safe disposal, and the newly launched ‘Alberta Ag-plastic. Recycle it!’ pilot program that has commissioned 20 locations throughout the province to collect grain bags and twine for recycling. Cleanfarms operates the pilot on behalf of the Alberta-based Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group.

“With the grain bag and twine recycling program now underway in a progressive province that is evolving waste management and producer responsibility programs, it’s a logical and important next step for Cleanfarms to have an Alberta-based office,” Friesen said.

Cleanfarms, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is the only industry funded organization working across Canada that develops and operates waste product and packaging stewardship for the agricultural community. It utilizes a vast network of industry distributors, ag-retailers and in Alberta and Manitoba, municipalities, to operate collection sites where farmers can take ag-waste plastics and other non-organic, ag-waste materials for recycling or proper disposal.

Cleanfarms was established specifically to run the successful small jug recycling program originally created in 1989. The jug recycling program is Cleanfarms’ signature national agricultural recycling program with a 65% recovery rate. Other ag-waste management programs include:

  • Empty pesticide and fertilizer containers for large containers, e.g., totes and barrels, operated nationally
  • Unwanted and old pesticide and livestock/equine medication collection, operated nationally
  • Empty seed and pesticide bags collected in eastern Canada with pilot programs underway in the Prairies, and
  • Empty grain bag collection now in its third year of operation in Saskatchewan.

About Cleanfarms
Cleanfarms is a non-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural plastic packaging and non-organic product waste. Recycled agricultural plastics are made into new products such as farm drainage tile, flexible irrigation pipe and plastic bags.