EARTH DAY 2021: TNRD partners with Cleanfarms for new recycling program

·2 min read

The TNRD is hoping to reduce agricultural plastic waste in the area by partnering with Cleanfarms and launching a new recycling program.

Cleanfarms is a not-for-profit that delivers an environmental stewardship program aimed at making Canada’s agriculture sector greener and more eco-friendly. Cleanfarms coordinates the collection and recycling of plastic agricultural materials that are not covered by Recycle BC and Product Care.

Farming and ranching is a primary industry within the TNRD, and as such increased diversion from the agriculture sector via the latest innovations in waste reduction is important for both the industry and the environment.

The new program available to TNRD participants will focus on pesticide and fertilizer containers, and not plastics such as bale wrap or netting, which are not currently accepted for recycling.

Last year, more than 5.2 million empty and cleaned fertilizer and pesticide containers, as well as nearly 300,000 empty pesticide and seed bags were collected through a Cleanfarms program. These waste items were then sorted, shredded, melted and processed in a state-of-the-art facility, turning them into useful materials, such as farm drainage tile.

“The TNRD is excited to partner with Cleanfarms to better support diversion from agriculture,” said Andrew Roebbelen, Waste Reduction Coordinator for the TNRD.

“Cleanfarms is a national program that continues to grow and fill a void in current recycling options offered. By partnering with them, the TNRD will be able to divert plastic pesticide and fertilizer containers that it couldn’t before. We are anticipating a good uptake of the program particularly from area golf courses and contractors that deal with pest and weed management. By the time the season wraps up in October I hope to have some big numbers to report.”

According to the TNRD website:

- Program will include all industrial/commercial labelled fertilizer/pesticide/herbicide jugs, bottle, and pails up to 23L

- Program is open to all farmers, ranchers, golf courses and their contractors

- Farmers will receive large clear bags from their supplier (Purity Feeds) to collect their jugs in

- Bags will also be available at Heffley Creek Eco-Depot and Lower Nicola Eco-Depot

- Farmers will be required to triple rinse their jugs and place in the clear bag

- Once full (about 90 jugs) the bags will be brought to one of our receiving depots (Lower Nicola and Heffley Creek).

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald