Waste Reduction Week a Reminder that Farmers Can Still Recycle Empty Plastic Pesticide and Fertilizer Jugs

Cleanfarms reminds farmers they can recycle empty, rinsed pesticide and fertilizer jugs until the end of October. – Cleanfarms photo

Recycling Collection Sites Will Take Empties Until the End of October

Etobicoke, ON (Oct. 18, 2021)Waste Reduction Week Canada comes up next week, Monday, October 18 to Friday, October 22. Each day of the week is designated to highlight key issues bringing them to the attention of Canadians. Thursday is designated as “plastics” day. The designation opens the door for Cleanfarms to remind Canadian farmers that they still have time to recycle those empty pesticide and fertilizer containers they may have stored in their farmyards or sheds.

Cleanfarms, the national stewardship organization that recovers agricultural waste like plastic jugs for recycling will keep their collection locations across the country open and ready to take rinsed, empty jugs until the end of October.

More than 1,600 collection locations work with Cleanfarms accepting millions of empty plastic containers 23L and smaller throughout the growing season. The Cleanfarms program keeps these used plastic materials out of the environment and reinvested in the circular economy.

Last year, Canadian farmers brought back more than 76% of the containers put into the marketplace, amounting to about 5.5 million empty jugs. It brought the total since the collection program began more than 30 years ago to 137.4 million containers returned for recycling.

“We’re making steady progress toward higher recovery rates of the empty jugs for recycling and we credit Canadian farmers for making this program the success it is. But we have a challenge for farmers. We want 100% of them back this year,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen.

When the jugs are recycled, the plastic gets put to good use. It is used to make such items as farm drainage tile, fence posts, dimensional lumber used in construction and plastic pallets.

Recycling empty (and triple rinsed) pesticide and fertilizer jugs is one of five programs Cleanfarms operates. It is an industry stewardship organization that fulfills the commitment of its industry members in the crop inputs and crop storage industries to manage their products and packaging when farmers are finished with them. The other programs are:

  • a nation-wide recycling program for large non-deposit plastic totes and drums for pesticides and fertilizers
  • a nation-wide collection and proper disposal program for unwanted pesticides and old, obsolete livestock and equine medications
  • recycling programs for grain bags and agricultural baler twine, and
  • a disposal program for seed and pesticide bags in eastern Canada and fertilizer bags in Quebec

Cleanfarms is also operating a series of pilot projects from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island to collect data on how to recover and recycle used plastic bale and silage wrap and bunker covers. The information will help develop permanent programs.

“Cleanfarms works with farmers and farming organizations to set up recycling and responsible disposal programs that give farmers peace of mind that these waste resource materials are managed responsibly when they are no longer needed or wanted. It’s good for farmers and good for the environment” Friesen said.

Information about the location of ag plastic collection sites is provided at Cleanfarms.ca

About Cleanfarms

Cleanfarms is a national not-for-profit organization that delivers industry-funded, end-of-life stewardship programs to the agricultural sector across Canada. It works collaboratively with more than 70 members in the pesticide, fertilizer, seed, ag plastic, and animal health medication sectors, as well as partner agencies, and governments to ensure that Canadian farmers can actively contribute to a healthy environment and a sustainable future.

Cleanfarms has over ten years’ experience identifying and helping to develop North American markets for agricultural plastics through the ongoing development and management of farmer-focused recycling programs. It has staff located in Lethbridge, Alberta; Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Etobicoke, Ontario; and St-Bruno, Quebec.


Contact: Barbara McConnell, Cleanfarms Media