2019 Saskatchewan Grain Bag Recycling Rate Already Surpasses 2018 by 25%

MOOSE JAW, SK – Halfway through 2019, and with one of the busiest periods of grain bag recycling still ahead, Saskatchewan farmers have already recycled 25% more grain bags in 2019 than they did in all of 2018, recycling program operator Cleanfarms announced today.

Cleanfarms is a non-profit industry stewardship organization established 10 years ago to help Canadian farmers recycle or properly dispose of waste agricultural plastic and other waste materials generated on farms.So far this year, Saskatchewan farmers have turned in almost 1,580 tonnes of used, empty grain bags for recycling. During the whole of 2018, the first year of the government-regulated program, the total collected for recycling was 1,265 tonnes.

“With 2019 only at the mid-way point and with a full harvest season ahead of us, we are expecting that we’ll see the year end with a very successful recycling program for grain bags in Saskatchewan,” predicted Cleanfarms’ general manager Barry Friesen. “We have Saskatchewan farmers to thank for that. We are very grateful they are getting on board so enthusiastically with this recycling program.”

Across the province from Carievale to Meadow Lake, 34 municipalities and businesses are set up as Cleanfarms collection locations that accept grain bags under the recycling program.

To date this year, Cleanfarms has shipped 84 semi trailer loads of grain bags to a recycler in the southern U.S. where the bags are washed, shredded and the plastic pelletized so it can be used to make new products such as plastic bags. Each trailer load holds about 120 rolled grain bags meaning that more than 10,000 grain bags have been shipped for recycling so far this year.

As an example, the collection site at the Unity municipal landfill site – one of the busiest in the province – has already collected about 281 tonnes (281,000 kg) of grain bags so far this year. This translates into 16 semi trailer loads. An additional three loads are set to go in the next few days.

The recycling program for grain bags in Saskatchewan was established in July 2016 under The Agricultural Packaging Product Waste Stewardship Regulations, the first regulation of its kind in Canada. Through it, the province set the groundwork for a regulated recycling program similar to many other of Saskatchewan’s stewardship programs for products such as tires, electronics, paint and oil containers. The regulation transfers financial responsibility for proper disposal from the tax payer to businesses that supply grain bags into the market.

The recycling program applies an environmental handling fee (EHF) – in place since November 2018 – at the time of sale to help cover the cost of recycling the used grain bags. Specifically, the EHF is used to compensate collection sites for collecting the 113 kg plus, one-time-use bags; for loading and transporting them to end markets; and for administration. At 25 cents a kilogram, the EHF amounts to about $50 on a 10-foot by 300-foot grain bag, which can weigh close to 200 kgs and cost more than $1,100 dollars.

Cleanfarms operates the extended producer responsibility (EPR) grain bag collection and recycling program on behalf of the obligated industry.

Cleanfarms has developed a series of successful programs to recover and recycle or properly dispose of plastic ag waste and other farm waste materials including:

  • Empty pesticide and fertilizer containers under 23 litres in size (Canada-wide)
  • Empty pesticide and fertilizer containers over 23 litres in size (Canada-wide)
  • Obsolete pesticides and animal health products (Canada-wide)
  • Empty seed and pesticide bags (primarily in eastern Canada with pilots operating in the prairie provinces)
  • Empty grain bags in Saskatchewan (along with operating a pilot program to start soon in Alberta)

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Contact:
Barbara McConnell, Cleanfarms Media, 613-471-1816, bmcconnell@cleanfarms.ca

View Saskatchewan Grain Bag Collection Locations

Single Use Plastics Bans Not Targeting Ag-plastics: Cleanfarms

Moose Jaw—This week’s federal government announcement on the ban of some single use plastics by 2021 have left many Canadian farmers wondering if single use plastics for agricultural products such as grain bags, pesticide and fertilizer jugs and seed bags are included.

Cleanfarms, the national organization that operates programs throughout the country to collect empty and used agricultural plastics for recycling and proper disposal says farm plastic products such as grain bags and packaging like jugs and bags are not on the list of single use plastics targeted for bans.

Cleanfarms General Manager Barry Friesen says that even though farm plastic waste will not be affected by bans the impact could see increases in regulations for agricultural products through government industry responsibility programs.

“For example, in Saskatchewan, grain bag recycling is now required under a provincially-regulated industry stewardship program,” Friesen says. “To cover the cost of recycling the bags, which weigh hundreds of kilograms, an environmental handling fee is applied at purchase. Like the fee on the electronics that we’ve had for years, purchasers of grain bags, in this case Saskatchewan farmers, pay the handling fee when they buy or import grain bags.”

The Saskatchewan grain bag handling fee, the first of its kind in the Canadian agricultural industry, has been in place since November 2018. Saskatchewan farmers who use grain bags for storage will see it on sales receipts as they purchase grain bags for the coming harvest. The fee is 25 cents a kilogram which can amount to about $31 on a 9-foot by 200-foot grain bag that can cost several hundred dollars.

“The ban on single use plastics the government proposed this week largely focuses on residential packaging and products. But governments are also concerned about overall waste reduction and diversion to help reduce plastic litter, landfills and the carbon footprint of packaging of all types. This means that non-durable products and packaging that don’t currently have programs or that have low recycling recovery rates may be regulated down the road,” Friesen says.

Cleanfarms is a not-for-profit stewardship organization established 10 years ago to manage agricultural plastic and other wastes generated on farms across Canada. Cleanfarms has developed a series of successful programs to recover and recycle or properly dispose of plastic ag waste. It continually looks for opportunities to expand existing programs and create new ones that incorporate all agricultural single use plastics to help keep Canadian farm communities clean and environmentally healthy.

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Contact:

Barbara McConnell, Cleanfarms Media
613-471-1816
bmcconnell@cleanfarms.ca

Alberta Agricultural Recycling Group Names Cleanfarms as Recycling Pilot Program Operator

Calgary, AB – The Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group (APRG) through the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) announced that they have selected Cleanfarms as the program operator for a three-year pilot program to collect agricultural grain bags and twine for recycling.

Cleanfarms was successful in meeting the qualifications set out in an expression of interest for the provincial program. Cleanfarms will handle program logistics including collection and transportation to recycle the materials. Other responsibilities include market research for all types of agricultural plastics, a waste characterization study to determine plastic volumes and materials, surveys to producers, and education about the program. Cleanfarms is a Canadian non-profit organization that delivers recycling and disposal solutions that help farmers and their communities safely manage farm waste. 

The success of Cleanfarms’ programs highlights the commitment of farmers, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, municipalities, and provinces to agricultural environmental responsibility and sustainability. Cleanfarms draws on over 30 years of experience implementing programs to collect and divert agricultural waste from landfills, waterways, and on-farm burning.

“We look forward to our engagement with Cleanfarms as an experienced leader in agricultural plastics recycling,” stated Al Kemmere, APRG Chair. “We have had an extremely positive response from municipalities across the province who want to participate in this program. Our next step will be to engage those groups to determine the site locations with the goal to start material collection by early Fall.”

The program was announced on January 21, 2019 with funding from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to establish an environmentally sustainable program to recycle agricultural plastics.

“Our team is keen to be involved in these pilots. Our experience working with hundreds of collection sites across the Prairies from retailers to municipalities, combined with the insight the APRG offers will help build a made-in-Alberta recycling program that provides producers with an efficient and convenient recycling program,” said Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms.

Funds for the pilot project were granted by the Government of Alberta and are administered by Alberta Beef Producers.

About the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group

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

Contact

Al Kemmere APRG Chairman and RMA President
akemmere@rmalberta.com

About ABP

Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) is the democratic and representative organization that speaks and works on behalf of close to 18,000 cattle and beef producers in Alberta.  It is an organization of producers, run by producers, working for producers in all sectors of the cattle and beef industry and all areas of the province.  The mission of ABP is to strengthen the sustainability and competitiveness of the beef industry for the benefit of beef producers in Alberta.

Contact
Rich Smith, Executive Director
(403) 451-1183
richs@albertabeef.org

About Cleanfarms

Cleanfarms is a Canadian non-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural packaging and product waste. Emulated internationally, Cleanfarms develops, implements and operates:

  • Canada-wide programs that collect and recycle empty, single-use pesticide and fertilizer containers, and collect and safely manage unwanted pesticide and old livestock medications;
  • seed and pesticide bag collection programs in eastern Canada with pilots in western Canada; and
  • a regulated grain bag recycling program in Saskatchewan.

Recovered agricultural plastics are recycled into new products such as farm drainage tile, flexible irrigation pipe and garbage bags.

For more information, visit Cleanfarms.ca

Contact
Barry Friesen, P.Eng., General Manager
416 622 4460 x 2230
friesenb@cleanfarms.ca

 

Cleanfarms Posts Increases in 2018 Ag-Plastic Recovery Programs

Cleanfarms continues to demonstrate that Canada’s agricultural community is committed to managing farm waste responsibly.

In its 2018 annual report just released, Cleanfarms recorded an increase in recovery of its Canada-wide empty small plastic container collection program of 14% by volume over 2017. In total, farmers brought back nearly 5.8 million empty containers (23L and under) for recycling into new products such as farm drainage tile.

Cleanfarms is a national non-profit industry stewardship organization that is funded by the Canadian crop protection, fertilizer, seed and agricultural plastics industries. The collection and recycling of empty agricultural pesticide and fertilizer containers is the best known and longest running of its ag-waste recovery programs. Overall, Cleanfarms’ mandate is to contribute to a healthier environment by recovering agricultural and related industry plastics, packaging and products for recycling or safe disposal.

“Despite the challenges of shrinking overseas markets for recycled commodities, Cleanfarms continued to meet its goal of sending all materials collected for recycling to end markets to be remanufactured into new products. This is a prime example of the circular economy at work in the agricultural community,” said Cleanfarms General Manager Barry Friesen.

Other Cleanfarms programs also posted increases in recovery. The collection of empty agricultural seed, pesticide and fertilizer bags in Eastern Canada climbed by 22% by volume over 2017. The largest increase occurred in Quebec where recovery numbers jumped to nearly 194,000 kg from about 110,000 kg in 2017.

Fueled by the success of this program in Eastern Canada, Cleanfarms is pilot testing the collection of seed, pesticide and fertilizer bags in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta in 2019. Empty bags are recovered for proper disposal instead of being buried in landfill sites.

At the core of Cleanfarms’ commitment to help farmers manage agriculture packaging and products responsibly is its unwanted pesticides and livestock medications collection program. Operated in partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute, the program provides an essential service to farmers allowing them to take old, obsolete and unwanted pesticides and livestock/equine medications 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 2018, 74 ag-retail partners in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Northern Saskatchewan, Southern Alberta and British Columbia collected for safe disposal a total of about 181,000 kg of unwanted commercial pesticides and nearly 2,500 kg of unwanted and obsolete livestock/equine medications.

2018 also marked the first year of the provincially-regulated grain bag recycling program in Saskatchewan. Though this program is just getting underway, it has already collected nearly 1,260 tonnes of grain bag plastic for recycling. The primary use for this recovered material is in the manufacture of garbage bags.

“Thanks to our industry members, Cleanfarms operates in the Canadian agricultural community as an important partner in helping farmers manage their farm operations responsibly and sustainably. That’s what drives us to develop and expand programs that offer continuous improvement in access and convenience,” Friesen said.

About Cleanfarms

Created in 2010, Cleanfarms is a Canadian non-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural packaging and product waste. It is a leader in developing, implementing and operating programs to recover agricultural non-organic products and packaging for recycling or proper disposal. Emulated internationally, Cleanfarms’ programs are available across Canada.

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

Cleanfarms.ca

Contact: Barbara McConnell, Cleanfarms Communications
613-471-1816 | 877-622-4460 #4
bmcconnell@cleanfarms.ca

 

Cleanfarms Calling for Farmers to Recycle 100% of Plastic Ag Jugs to Mark 30th Anniversary

Thirty years ago, the crop protection industry in Canada planted the seeds of a voluntary stewardship program in Prairie communities to collect empty agricultural plastic jugs for recycling.

The idea took root and since then, Cleanfarms has expanded the program across Canada bringing in a total of about 126 million plastic jugs that have been recycled into new products instead of disposed in landfill.

During Earth Week, April 22 to 28, Cleanfarms is celebrating the 30th anniversary of collecting plastic jugs 23L and under for recycling. As this foundational agricultural waste collection program grew, it cleared the path for Cleanfarms to introduce a broader range of programs to collect plastic farm waste materials such as empty seed, fertilizer and pesticide bags; silage wrap; large pesticide and fertilizer drums and totes; twine; and grain bags.

“We’re excited that we’ve been able to increase the recovery of empty containers thanks to Canadian farmers and more than 1,000 ag-retail and municipal collection sites across the country. In 2018, we recovered nearly 5.8 million containers, a 14% increase by volume over 2017,” said Barry Friesen, Cleanfarms general manager.

Currently, Cleanfarms recovers about 65% of the smaller plastic containers that are placed on the market each year.

“Our success in 2018 set us up to go after 100% recovery to celebrate our 30 thanniversary in 2019. We’re asking farmers who use these products to follow best practice and recycle every one of the empty containers when they’re finished with them. It’s a big ask but we know Canadian farmers are keen stewards of their land and are committed to environmental responsibility when it comes to how this packaging is managed,” Friesen said.

Recovered agricultural plastics are recycled into new products such as farm drainage tile, flexible irrigation pipe and garbage bags.

2018 Number of Small Plastic Containers 23L and under Recovery for Recycling by Province

2018 Number of Small Plastic Containers 23L and under Recovery for Recycling by Province

 

For further information: Barbara McConnell   |  877-622-4460  #4 | bmcconnell@cleanfarms.ca

Agricultural plastics recycling project launch

Saint-Hyacinthe – MRC des Maskoutains, the Régie intermunicipale d’Acton et des Maskoutains (RIAM) and Le Syndicats de l’UPA Vallée maskoutaine and Maskoutains Nord-Est join CleanFARMS to initiate a project aimed at recycling agricultural plastics. Coop Comax and Coop Ste-Hélène are also part of this project and acting as collection sites and quality control.

The object for the next three years is to collect data that will enable Cleanfarms to set up a permanent program offered throughout the province. The program objectives are: ease of recycling, benefit to the environment and low operational costs.

On November 7th and 8th, Réseau Environnement, RECYC-QUÉBEC and Éco Entreprises Québec held a symposium on ‘’Waste material Management’’ at the Centre des congrès in Saint-Hyacinthe. CleanFARMS and its project partners used this opportunity to officially launch this initiative.

Participants at a workshop ‘’Circular economy approach’’ identified the requirements to set up a structured methodology to collect AG plastics in the MRC des Maskoutains’ territory. Anna Potapova, manager for Agricultural and Agrifood Development at MRC des Maskoutains, organised the workshop as part of implementing the agricultural zone development plan (PDZA).

‘’The MRC wishes to contribute in finding solutions to add value to AG plastics at the end of their life cycle. This project aims at making it possible to execute this type of collection on a long term basis, in a sustainable way, all over the Province of Quebec. By partnering with CleanFARMS, RIAM and UPA are convinced to succeed in making it happen’’ mentioned Claude Corbeil. He is Deputy Prefect of MRC des Maskoutains and Saint-Hyacinthe’s Mayor.

The president of La Régie intermunicipale d’Acton et des Maskoutains, as well as Mayor of Saint-Barnabé-Sud, Mr. Alain Jobin added: ‘’MRC d’Acton and MRC des Maskoutains have a joint venture program to manage residual waste. CleanFARMS’ project is in line with Measure 14 of our program. It aims at promoting initiatives to recycle and add value to AG plastics. We are proud of it.’’

Mrs. Sonia Gagné, President and General Manager of RECYC-QUÉBEC commented: ‘’RECYC-QUÉBEC praises this initiative. It is a step in the right direction towards the valorisation of Ag plastics. We have commissioned a study to characterize Ag plastics, from the time they reach the market until they get discarded at the farm level. We wish to know more about those plastics in order to properly manage them in an environmentally sound way. Furthermore, we want to know what’s at stake when collecting, recycling and adding value (potential outlets) here and elsewhere in Canada, as well as at the international level.’’

Mario Dupont, President of Le Syndicat UPA des Maskoutain’s said ‘’We want to work on efficient ways to collect waste. This is a good opportunity to get involved in be part of the solution to minimize the footprint left by farms.’’

Using its extensive experience in agricultural recycling, CleanFARMS will focus energy and resources on helping MRC des Maskoutains achieve its goals, as well as those of the AG industry in terms of managing products and packaging at the end of their life cycle.

Mrs. Christine Lajeunesse, Eastern Business Manager for CleanFARMS concludes: ‘’We believe that working together with MRC des Maskoutains’ Economic development Department, with the Ag sector, CleanFARMS will succeed in setting up a province wide permanent program to recycle ag plastics.’’

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Contact:

Denyse Bégin
Communication officer
450-768-3001
dbegin@mrcmaskoutains.qc.ca

Joëlle Jetté
Communications coordinator, direction vie syndicale and communications
Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie
450-774-9154, ext. 6227
jjette@upa.qc.ca

Christine Lajeunesse
Eastern Region Business Manager
Cleanfarms
450 482 0756
lajeunessec@cleanfarms.ca

Cleanfarms to collect unwanted agricultural pesticides & livestock medications at no charge in Nova Scotia

  • Collection events in 12 locations across the province Nov. 5 to 16
  • Events help keep these materials out of the environment

Sometimes the business of farming results in leftover, unwanted agricultural pesticides or outdated equine/livestock medications. And sometimes disposing of these materials safely is difficult. But for farmers living in or near many Nova Scotian communities, they can take them to special collection events that Cleanfarms is holding at designated locations throughout the province from Monday, November 5 to Friday, November 16.

Cleanfarms is a Canadian non-profit organization that delivers recycling and disposal solutions that help farmers and their communities safely manage farm waste. Cleanfarms runs the unwanted pesticides and equine/livestock medications collection program in each province or region of the country every three years. There is no charge to farmers for using this Cleanfarms service to the agricultural community.

Collection events are scheduled at the following locations Nov. 5 – 16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • Amherst – Amherst Co-op, 17 Lawrence Street, 902-667-1278
  • Antigonish – Antigonish Farm & Garden Co-op, 91 Saint Andrew Street, 902-863-1436
  • Collingwood – Bragg Lumber Co., 99 Bragg Road, 902-686-3254
  • Bridgewater – Bridgewater Farmers Coop, 123 Elm Street, 902-543-2471
  • Kentville – Cavendish Agri Services Ltd., 1205 Hwy. 359, 902-678-6191
  • Truro – Cavendish Agri Services Ltd., 38 Wade Road, 902-893-6950
  • Truro – Truro Agromart Ltd., 547 Onslow Road, 902-895-2857
  • Wilmot- Cavendish Agri Services Ltd., 14062 Hwy. 1, 902-825-4878
  • Milford Station – Corridor Co-op, 2289 Hwy. 2, 902-758-2046
  • Halifax – Halifax Seed Co. Inc., 5860 Kane Street, 902-454-7456, ext. 134
  • Coldbrook – Scotian Gold Co-op Ltd., 7027 Hwy. 1, 902-679-7294
  • Sydney- United Farmers Co-op, 502 Keltic Drive, 902-564-8134

Cleanfarms will accept materials at the events at no charge and will dispose of the materials collected safely and responsibly. Materials accepted in the Cleanfarms program include:

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

    old or unwanted agricultural pesticides (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label), and

  • equine and livestock medications that are used in the rearing of animals in an agricultural context (identified with a DIN number, serial number or Pest Control Product number on the label).

The program will 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.

The program is funded by the crop protection industry and the Canadian Animal Health Institute and operated by Cleanfarms. An environmental stewardship organization, 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.  In 2015, the last time this program was offered in Nova Scotia, Cleanfarms collected 9,789 kg. of unwanted pesticides and 305 kg of livestock and equine medications.

Questions about whether a product fits the scope of acceptable materials in this collection can be directed to 877-622-4460 or email Cleanfarms at info@cleanfarms.ca.

–30–

www.cleanfarms.ca

Twitter:  Cleanfarms @cleanfarms

Twitter: Canadian Animal Health Institute  @cahi_icsa

Photo included/caption:

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

Cleanfarms to collect unwanted agricultural pesticides & livestock medications at no charge in New Brunswick

  • Collection events in 11 locations across the province Nov. 5 to 16
  • Events help keep these materials out of the environment

Sometimes the business of farming results in leftover, unwanted agricultural pesticides or outdated equine/livestock medications. And sometimes disposing of these materials safely is difficult. But for farmers living in or near many New Brunswick communities, they can take them to special collection events that Cleanfarms is holding at designated locations throughout the province from Monday, November 5 to Friday, November 16.

Cleanfarms is a Canadian non-profit organization that delivers recycling and disposal solutions that help farmers and their communities safely manage farm waste. Cleanfarms runs the unwanted pesticides and equine/livestock medications collection program in each province or region of the country every three years. There is no charge to farmers for using this Cleanfarms service to the agricultural community.

Collection events are scheduled at the following locations Nov. 5 – 16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • Drummond – New Denmark Trucking, 194 Station Road, 506-473-1086
  • Federicton – Co-op Home & Farm Supply Ltd., 317 Saint Mary’s Street, 506-458-9308
  • Florenceville – McCain Produce, 16 McCain Produce Road, 506-392-3036
  • Gagetown – Appleman Farm Ltd., 16 Fox Road, 506-488-2147
  • Hartland – Hartland Agromart Ltd., 40 Industrial Drive, 506-375-4538
  • Moncton – South Eastern Farmers Co-op, 200 Collishaw Street, 506-858-6600
  • Petit-Rocher – Chaleur Fertilizers, 588 Industrial Street, 506-783-4216
  • Sainte Andre – Grand Falls Agromart Ltd., 38 Chemin Depres, 506-473-1941
  • Saint John – Halifax Seed Co., 664 Rothesay Ave., 506-633-2032
  • Salisbury – Cavendish Agri Services, 3030 Federicton Road, 506-372-9390
  • Sussex – Sussex Co-op, 25 Union Street, 506-432-1841

Cleanfarms will accept materials at the events at no charge and will dispose of them safely and responsibly. Materials accepted in the Cleanfarms program include:

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

    old or unwanted agricultural pesticides (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label), and

  • equine and livestock medications that are used in the rearing of animals in an agricultural context (identified with a DIN number, serial number or Pest Control Product number on the label).

The program will 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.

The program is funded by the crop protection industry and the Canadian Animal Health Institute and operated by Cleanfarms. An environmental stewardship organization, 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.  In 2015, the last time this program was offered in New Brunswick, Cleanfarms collected 15,019 kg. of unwanted pesticides and 330 kg of livestock and equine medications. After 2018, the program will return to New Brunswick in the fall of 2021.

Questions about whether a product fits the scope of acceptable materials in this collection can be directed to 877-622-4460 or email Cleanfarms at info@cleanfarms.ca.

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www.cleanfarms.ca

Twitter:  Cleanfarms @cleanfarms

Twitter:  Canadian Animal Health Institute  @cahi_icsa

Grain Bag Recycling Environmental Handling Fee Starts Thursday, Nov. 1

MOOSE JAW, SK – Saskatchewan farmers who purchase large plastic bags for grain storage will see a change when they buy bags after next Thursday, November 1. That’s when Saskatchewan’s new province-wide grain bag recycling program’s Environment Handling Fee (EHF) becomes effective.

The non-refundable EHF of 25 cents per kilogram will be added to the price of the bag based on weight and size. On a bag that is approximately 125 kg, the EHF would start at about $31 and increase proportional to the total weight of the plastic in the bag.

Most grain bag users won’t be buying bags at this time of year but will see the EHF when they purchase bags for 2019 storage.

The calculation of the EHF is based on a six-year pilot recycling program initiated by the provincial government. The government-funded pilot was operated by Simply Agriculture Solutions. Over that time, more than 3,600 tonnes of grain bags were recovered for recycling.

In July 2016, the province created The Agricultural Packaging Product Waste Stewardship Regulation establishing a regulated recycling program for grain bags similar to Canadian stewardship programs for tires, electronics, paint and oil containers. Like those, the Saskatchewan grain bag recycling program transfers financial responsibility for proper end-of-life management to businesses that supply grain bags into the market. A farmer who imports grain bags from outside of the province also falls under the same obligation.

The purpose of the recycling program is to offer farmers a responsible option for returning these single-use, large, heavy bags for recycling. End markets in North America and Malaysia shred, wash and pelletize the plastic and sell it to manufacturers who make products such as plastic garbage bags.

Rolled grain bag ready to be shipped to recycling end-market

The EHF will be used to cover the cost of collecting the bags at designated collection sites, transporting them to end markets and administration, after deducting end-market revenues.

Cleanfarms, a not-for-profit industry stewardship organization with extensive experience in recovering agricultural plastics across Canada began administering the program when it evolved from the pilot to a permanent program. With funding assistance for the 2018 program provided, in part, by Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture through the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 initiative, it has established more than 20 collection sites throughout the province where there is heavy grain bag use. It will add 15 collection locations in 2019.

“We know Saskatchewan farmers want to do the right thing for their land and communities, and that they’re prepared to recycle their grain bags. Since the permanent program began, we’ve shipped more than 800 tonnes of grain bags to end markets with that much or more already collected and ready to be shipped out soon. That represents thousands of grain bags that will be recycled into new products as opposed to disintegrating on farm fields or buried in landfill,” said Cleanfarms General Manager Barry Friesen.

Estimates suggest that 15,000 to 20,000 grain bags are used in Saskatchewan every year.

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For media contact:
Barbara McConnell
media@cleanfarms.ca
P. 877-622-4460 ext. 4

For program information contact: 
Tammy Shields
shieldst@cleanfarms.ca
306 341 4460

Cleanfarms Named Canada Clean50 Winner for Programs that Increase Sustainability on Canadian Farms

Cleanfarms Inc. has been named a Canada’s 2019 Clean50 Top Project in recognition of its progressive, innovative and unique programs that promote environmental sustainability through the proper management of agricultural waste in Canada’s farm communities.

Clean50 (www.clean50.com), managed by Delta Management and sponsored by a number of leading companies including the Globe and Mail, screened more than 600 submissions for the 2019 awards program. It aims to recognize champions from the business and non-profit sector that demonstrate innovative approaches and achieve measurable success in environmental responsibility and improvement over the past two years.

At a summit held September 28 attended by Clean50 award recipients and past winners, Cleanfarms won second place in a vote for top place among the five leading winning submissions. The Cleanfarms award highlights just three out of the many programs that the organization operates, including a logistically-challenging program to collect the myriad of large, non-refillable containers from farms across the prairies. With the success of this single, cohesive system, the program has since been rolled out countrywide. Without these programs, the agricultural waste collected such as plastic containers for pesticides and fertilizer under 23Ls; bulk containers larger than 23Ls; grain bags; seed and pesticide bags; and unwanted pesticides and livestock medications might be buried or burned on farms or disposed of unsafely in landfill.

“There are many specialized waste materials generated every day in Canadian farm operations and our job is to make sure these materials come back to the circular economy for infinite recycling or are disposed of safely,” says Barry Friesen, General Manager of Cleanfarms. “We work with farmers and the agricultural community to provide opportunities that enable growers to choose recycling and other safe disposal programs over other disposal options.”

The Clean50 award recognizes the inspiration, innovation and the impact of the work that Cleanfarms’ team brings to establishing new solutions to manage and minimize waste from Canadian farms.

Included in the Clean50 submission was a Cleanfarms’ seed and pesticide bag recovery program that expanded from the Maritimes through Quebec and Ontario, developing a network to recover thousands of bags for recycling and management in waste-to-energy systems. Another project focused on expanding a Manitoba pilot to recover and recycle twine and agricultural film from agricultural operations province wide though a network of municipal collection sites.

The impacts of these three programs show outstanding progress with recovery of nearly 79,000 bulk containers; 924,000 kg of seed and pesticide bags; and 75,000 kg of agricultural film and twine in the last  two-years alone.

“This is absolutely a team effort,” says Friesen. “Our staff is inspired by the commitment of Canadian farmers to sustainable and environmentally responsible practices of producing food for families worldwide. It is our privilege to work with industry members to provide opportunities to offer options for cost effective recycling and safe disposal programs to help keep Canadian farms clean.”

For further information: Barbara McConnell, Cleanfarms Communications, mcweav@kos.net, 416-452-2373