ETOBICOKE, ON, Feb. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario farmers returned more than 114,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides and over 4,400 kilograms of animal health medications for safe disposal in 2013. The combined collection program was made possible through a unique partnership between CleanFARMS - a national industry-led agricultural waste stewardship organization - and the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI).
"It's always a good thing when we can offer expanded programs to help farmers responsibly manage waste on their farms," says Barry Friesen, general manager of CleanFARMS. "Partnering with the Canadian Animal Health Institute on this initiative proved to be a win-win for everyone involved."
Ontario farmers were invited to participate at no charge, by dropping off their obsolete or unwanted agricultural pesticides and animal health medications to 31 ag-retail collection sites throughout the province in October for safe and environmentally responsible disposal.
"This model of providing a simple, one-stop collection point for both pesticides and animal medications is a valuable service that we are pleased to offer to farmers," says Jean Szkotnicki, president of CAHI.
Since the program launched in 1998, more than 1.9 million kilograms of obsolete pesticide has been collected across Canada and safely destroyed. The first animal health medication collection was piloted in 2009 and returned in 2013. After collection, all products are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are safely disposed of through high-temperature incineration.
CleanFARMS also partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food to co-fund the collection program, and was supported by Farm and Food Care Ontario, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (OFVGA), and the Ontario Agri-Business Association.
"Growers welcome the opportunity to safely dispose of unusable pesticide products. Changing crops, new pests, and regulatory actions can all make products obsolete," says Craig Hunter, expert advisor (pesticides), OFVGA. "We thank CleanFARMS for allowing us to take part."
The obsolete collection program generally comes to the province every three years. In between collections, farmers are encouraged to safely store their unwanted pesticides and animal health medications until they can properly dispose of them through the program.
This CleanFARMS program is part of the plant science industry's commitment to responsible lifecycle management of its products. For more information visit CleanFARMS.ca.
SOURCE: CleanFARMS Inc.
For further information:
Canadian Animal Health Institute