AG collection event Darfield Nov14 1 redNine successive years of growth for Agrecovery Rural Recycling show that farmers and growers across the country are continuing to increase their sustainable recycling practices.

Provisional results for the year ending June 2015 stand at 15,495kg of unwanted chemicals and 240,732kg of recycled plastic packaging collected by the industry good programme. This reflects a 50% jump in container recycling over a two year period.

According to Adrienne Wilcock, Chair and Dairy NZ trustee on the Agrecovery Foundation, it was also a year of milestones for Agrecovery.

“We exceeded one million kilograms of container plastic recycled since our 2007 launch and we now have over 10,000 farmer and grower members, one of whom won a new Suzuki motorbike in our recent promotion. Plus, earlier this year we launched our on-farm collection service for large drums and IBCs.”

The new large drum service is proving very popular with farmers, while also being the catalyst for well-known hygiene and teat-care brand FIL to join the programme in February.

“As Agrecovery now offers a recycling solution for all sizes of our dairy hygiene and teat care containers, it fits in well with our ongoing commitment to offer a higher level of service to our customers,” says FIL National Sales Manager Colin May.

With FIL joining, Agrecovery is now supported by 63 participating brand owners who voluntarily pay a levy on their product sales into the New Zealand market. This enables farmers and growers to access nationwide recycling services for free.

In the coming year Agrecovery is increasing efforts to make participation as easy and accessible as possible for all farmers and growers.

“We’ll be adding five new collection sites, targeting new brand owners and encouraging more industry organisations to adopt recycling recommendations in their supply chain standards. These actions will bring new participation, as well as help existing members to recycle more of their containers and large drums.”

The programme will continue to raise awareness of the proven negative environmental and health impacts associated with burning or burying plastic packaging and chemicals on-farm, while also promoting sensible practices to prevent chemicals becoming a disposal issue in the first place.

“Packaging waste cannot be avoided and should therefore be recycled, however the chemicals themselves would ideally be used as intended rather than becoming obsolete and requiring disposal. This year we’ll be working to share that message with the industry, while still offering collection for those who need it,” concludes Mrs. Wilcock.

The industry-good programme is New Zealand’s solution for the disposal of unwanted agrichemicals and the recycling of their empty plastic packaging. All plastic is recycled in New Zealand, while chemicals are treated for safe disposal in New Zealand and overseas.

According to Agrecovery, using the 240 tonnes of recycled plastic collected this financial year versus using new plastic saves energy equivalent to 452,000 litres of petrol.

Agrecovery wishes to acknowledge the many rural retailers, vet clinics, contractors, councils and others who host collection sites and provide resources, and all industry stakeholders who support the programme on behalf of New Zealand farmers and growers.

AGRECOVERY FAST FACTS – 12 months to June 30th 2015 (provisional)

Chemical disposal

  • Six regional collections were held in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Greater Wellington, Marlborough and Canterbury.
  • Total volume of unwanted/expired chemicals collected for disposal was 15,495kg vs. 18,279kg in the prior 12 months.

Packaging recycling

  • From July 2014 to June 2015 Agrecovery collected 236,232kg of 0-60L container plastic, an increase of nearly 50% in just the last two years.
  • The large drum programme which began collecting in April 2015 has collected 569 large drums, representing an additional 4,500kg (approx.)
  • The amount of energy saved when using this volume of recycled plastic versus making new plastic equates to 452,000 litres of petrol.

Read about the winner of the Agrecovery “Kick start your winter clean up” promotion