Canterbury farmers and growers are being urged to make use of a subsidised programme to get rid of their unwanted agrichemicals.

Agrecovery offers farmers the chance to safely dispose of potentially dangerous chemicals, with many free of charge or subsidised – they just need to book here by 28 March 2014 or ring 0800 247 326.

Following on from previous years’ collections, Environment Canterbury is again partnering with Agrecovery to support this programme.

Agrecovery Chair Graeme Peters says the collection is a crucial part of protecting the future of the industry.

“These are chemicals that pose a safety risk by being left in sheds, or eventually end up in our waterways or on our land.”

Safe and fully compliant, Agrecovery supports farmers and growers with a fully auditable report, which can be used for New Zealand GAP and other quality assurance programmes.

Last year it saw a record 5.5 tonnes of unwanted or expired agrichemicals disposed of in Canterbury, more than double the amount collected in 2012.

Peters is pleased with the numbers, but knows there’s more work to be done and hopes more farmers and growers will follow their neighbours’ example.   “We know there are still some properties with old and unwanted chemicals and we’d like to see those farmers and growers book them in for our upcoming collection.”

This collection follows on from five regional collections last financial year, with nearly 16,000 kg of agrichemicals collected from around the country.

The programme is supported by 57 brand owners and is focused on horticultural, agricultural and veterinary chemicals and animal health products. The programme doesn’t include household or garden chemicals; local councils can advise of disposal options for these.