Cleanfarms 2021 Annual Report Shows Substantial Increases in Ag Material Recycling
ETOBICOKE, ON (May 19, 2022) – Cleanfarms posted its 2021 annual report today, documenting the full results of its permanent programs and pilot projects designed and operated to help Canadian farmers manage agricultural plastic products and packaging.
Most important in the 2021 results is that Cleanfarms saw substantial growth in the collection numbers for the materials it collects for recycling and responsible disposal across the country suggesting that more farmers are using the services Cleanfarms offers and bringing back more materials. For example the numbers of small plastic pesticide and fertilizer jugs climbed by about 700,000 containers to 6.2 million containers collected for recycling, up a full 12.5% over the year before.
Often referred to as the “blue box” for farmers, Cleanfarms’ programs collect for recycling large and small plastic pesticide and fertilizer containers, used grain bags and baler twine. In some pilot projects, it is testing the collection of bale wrap and silage wrap which is used throughout Canada to wrap hay and to cover silage used as livestock feed. In addition, Cleanfarms operates programs that collect unwanted pesticides and old, obsolete livestock/equine medications for proper disposal. In eastern Canada, it collects seed, pesticide and in Quebec, fertilizer bags for proper disposal, and it operates pilot programs for these materials on the Prairies.
In a report to Cleanfarms members, Board Chair Boyd Bergstrom and Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen said “without exception Canadian farmers responded to every program and pilot, returning more materials for recycling than ever before”.
“Our hats go off to the farmers who, in the midst of another challenging year still grappling with the pandemic, continued to demonstrate pride in their farms by finding ways to recycle ag plastics and ensure responsible management of unwanted pesticides, expired and obsolete farm animal medications and empty seed and pesticide bags.”
2021 saw the implementation of a series of pilot programs throughout Canada that are generating critical data that point the way to the most effective, cost-efficient means of collecting, transporting and recycling harder-to-manage ag plastics. The materials collected through the pilots are also being used to develop recycling methodology and recycled-content applications with the intention of developing new end-markets and uses for recycled materials from the agricultural sector.
Cleanfarms collects ag waste materials through more than 1,500 recycling collection sites across Canada. Its recycling programs keep valuable resource materials out of landfill and the environment, and reinvested in the circular economy.
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, ag plastics industries. It has staff located in Lethbridge, Alberta; Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Etobicoke, Ontario; and St-Bruno, Quebec.
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