ETOBICOKE, ON, May 3, 2013 – New Brunswick farmers turned in more than 13,000 kilograms of unwanted or obsolete pesticides for safe disposal last year.
The program took place at 12 ag retail locations across the province through the end of October and into early November where farmers brought in 13,370 kilograms of product.
“New Brunswick farmers are hard-working, busy people and their participation in this program just goes to show how committed they are to stewardship and protecting the environment,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms.
Cleanfarms is the national, industry-led agricultural stewardship organization that operates the program. Since the program began in 1998, New Brunswick farmers have turned in more than 30,860 kilograms of obsolete or unwanted pesticides for safe disposal. Nationally, the program has collected more than 1.8 million kilograms of obsolete or unwanted pesticides for safe disposal since it began.
After collection, the pesticides are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are safely disposed through high- temperature incineration.
“The Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick is pleased to be closely associated with the Cleanfarms organization and its untiring commitment to fostering the environmentally responsible handling of pesticides and containers,” says Gerry Gartner, chief operations officer of the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick. “The Alliance, through its environmental farm plan activity, champions the responsible disposal of pesticide container as a logical extension of its overall environmental enhancement efforts with New Brunswick farmers.”
The obsolete pesticide collection program generally comes to the province every three years and is free for farmers to participate in. In between collections, farmers are asked to safely store their unwanted pesticides until they can properly dispose of them through the obsolete pesticide collection program.
“Farmers responsibly use pesticides to improve their operations and grow a safe and abundant food supply for Canadians and when it comes time to dispose of unwanted pesticides, they do it safely and responsibly through a program like ours,” says Friesen.
The program is part of the plant science industry’s commitment to responsible lifecycle management of its products.
The obsolete pesticide collection program was launched by industry in 1998 as part of its commitment to the responsible lifecycle management of its products. In 2010, Cleanfarms was formed to manage industry-funded agricultural waste management programs, including the obsolete pesticide collection program.
What are pesticides?
Pesticides are substances registered by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) that are used to control pest pressures, including fungi, insects and weeds, that can cause damage to crops.
What kinds of products are collected?
We collect all liquid and dry granular commercially labeled pesticides. They come in all sizes and types of containers from as small as 250 millilitres up to 500 litre totes. They can also include products delivered in multi-walled paper and plastic bags. The products are mainly for farm use but may also include obsolete pesticides from golf courses, commercial landscape operations and structural pest control.
Why do obsolete pesticides exist?
Farmers and applicators can generate obsolete pesticides for a number of different reasons, including:
- They may have saved product one year and decided to use a new product the next year;
- A farmer may have leftover pesticides from previous years that has become de-registered and no longer legal for use;
- Farm ownership can change leaving the new owner with leftover product on site;
- Farmers may start growing different crops that require different pest control products than what they currently have; and
- Pest pressures can change from when farmers first purchase products leaving them with unusable products leftover.
How are obsolete products handled and destroyed after they have been returned?
All products are safely disposed using specialized high-temperature incineration, which is the most environmentally responsible disposal option. The incineration facility that Cleanfarms normally uses is approved by Environment Canada and is located in northern Alberta. It is a world-class facility developed and built specifically for the management of hazardous waste.
Obsolete pesticides returned during the collection process are safely packed in leak-proof containers and transported by a licensed and insured hazardous waste hauler. When properly packaged and handled by trained professionals, these products do not pose a health and safety risk.
What safety measures are in place to manage potential spills?
Cleanfarms and its contractors have very detailed emergency response plans in place to manage any accidents or spills that may occur. Since the program began in 1998, there have not been any spills or accidents.