Monday, October 18 to Friday, October 22 is Waste Reduction Week Canada. Each day of the week is designated to highlight key issues and bringing them to the attention of Canadians. Thursday is designated as “plastics” day, which 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.

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 reinvests them 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.

“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.

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