—Farmers Can Start Recycling Empty Pesticide and Fertilizer Containers May 2—
Moose Jaw, SK (April 22, 2022) – Earth Day on April 22 is a reminder that Canadian farmers invest in our planet every year when they return empty pesticide and fertilizer containers for recycling. This year, the recycling program operator, Cleanfarms, is encouraging farmers to celebrate Earth Day all year long by returning even more empty single use jugs than last year.
“And that is no easy challenge,” says Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen, whose organization develops and operates the agricultural “blue box” for farmers.
“In 2021, Canadian farmers returned more than 6.2 million small empty containers, up 12.5% over the year before. Farmers are doing a great job which means we’re closing in on 80% of the containers in the marketplace. But we’re not stopping there. We’re going after 100%,” Friesen says.
Container Collection Sites Open May 2
Cleanfarms, the national stewardship organization that collects empty pesticide and fertilizer jugs to recycle them announced that more than 1,500 recycling collection sites across Canada will open their doors on Monday, May 2 to start accepting empty single use pesticide and fertilizer containers for 2022.
The Cleanfarms’ recycling program keeps these plastic containers, which are a valuable resource material, out of landfill and the environment, and reinvested in the circular economy.
Since the ag plastic container recycling program began more than 30 years ago, Canadian farmers have brought back more than 143.6 million empty containers for recycling.
“We’re challenging Canadian farmers to celebrate Earth Day this year, by bringing back all their ag plastic jugs used in their farm operations,” says Friesen, adding, “and on their behalf, we’ll see that the container plastic is put to good use again as new products.”
Recycled plastic from pesticide and fertilizer jugs are made into valuable agricultural products such as flexible drainage pipe and plastic bags.
Cleanfarms’ research shows that farmers want ag waste management programs that help them operate their farms more sustainably for their families and for future generations.
In addition to empty small plastic containers for pesticides and fertilizers, Cleanfarms’ programs include:
- a nation-wide recycling program for large non-deposit plastic totes and drums for pesticides and fertilizers
- recycling programs for grain bags and baler twine,
- a nation-wide collection and proper disposal program for unwanted pesticides and old, obsolete livestock and equine medications, and
- a disposal program for seed and pesticide bags and fertilizer bags in Quebec
Cleanfarms also operates pilot projects in partnership with other organizations across Canada including the Dairy Farmers of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), and Alberta’s Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group. Through these pilots for plastic ag products such as baler twine, bale wrap, silage wrap and silage tarps, Cleanfarms collects data on efficient collection, transportation and recycling practices to help transition pilots to permanent programs.
“Recycling programs for ag plastics help give farmers peace of mind that these resource materials are managed responsibly when they are no longer needed or wanted on the farm,” Friesen says.
Cleanfarms is an agricultural industry stewardship organization that contributes to a healthier environment and a sustainable future by recovering and recycling agricultural and related industry plastics, packaging and products. It is funded by its members in the crop protection, seed, fertilizer, animal health medication and grain bag industries. It has staff located in Lethbridge, Alberta; Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Etobicoke, Ontario; and St-Bruno, Quebec.