Nov. 16, 2011 – Ottawa, ON – Farmers from Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley turned in more than 22,000 kilograms of unwanted or obsolete agricultural pesticides this fall, bringing the total amount of product collected by Cleanfarms, previously under CropLife Canada, in British Columbia since 1998 to more than 207,000 kilograms.
“We’re extremely pleased with the results of this collection campaign,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms, a national, industry-led stewardship organization that co-funded the program in B.C. “B.C. producers made a strong statement that they are committed to environmental responsibility on their farms.”
Cleanfarms partnered with the BC Agriculture Council (BCAC), through the Agriculture Environment and Wildlife Fund of the BC Investment Agriculture Foundation, to fund and operate this year’s program.
“B.C. farmers want to dispose of their unwanted or old pesticides in a safe and environmentally responsible way, and we’re pleased to help facilitate that through this program,” says Greg Norton, Chair of the BCAC Agriculture Environment Initiatives Management Committee.
The British Columbia obsolete pesticide collection campaign ran between Oct. 4 and Oct. 20 at five drop-off locations with participating municipalities and ag-retailers across Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley. More than 3,900 kilograms of product was collected on Vancouver Island and more than 18,000 kilograms in the Fraser Valley region.
All of the obsolete pesticides were taken to a licensed disposal facility where they are disposed of through high temperature incineration.
This program comes at no cost to farmers and is the plant science industry’s commitment to the full life-cycle stewardship of its products. “Protecting the environment takes commitment and collaboration between industry and the farm community. This program is a prime example of the success we can achieve on this front when both groups work together,” says Friesen.
The obsolete pesticide collection program will return again next fall where it will collect unwanted pesticides from producers in the Okanagan, Interior and Peace regions of the province.
Cleanfarms also operates an empty pesticide container recycling program across the country and is currently looking at ways to manage other on-farm agricultural waste products.
For more information on Cleanfarms’ waste management initiatives, please visit www.Cleanfarms.ca.