CleanFarms Update at the 2022 Provincial ASB Conference

Update to Resolution 2-21: Pesticide Container Collection Program

CleanFarms’ Alberta Program Advisor, Davin Johnson provided an update related to Resolution 2-21: Pesticide Container Collection Program on January 27th of the Provincial ASB Conference in Edmonton. Below is a written post from Davin to share with the broader ASB audience.

Cleanfarms has announced a three-year plan (2022 through 2024) to transition the collection of pesticide containers smaller that 23L in Alberta from a municipal collection model to an ag-retail collection model. Cleanfarms will use a phased approach to ensure that municipalities, ag-retailers, and farmers have adequate time to adjust to the transition and ensure that all participating locations receive good service from collection contractors. Cleanfarms will be contacting every municipal collection site individually over the next few months to discuss the transition and answer any questions/comments. The following is a high-level summary of the transition plan:

  • In spring 2022, there will be blended collection logistics for the duration of the transition period. Under this hybrid ag-retail and municipal model, Cleanfarms will pick up from both ag-retailers and municipalities.
  • The closure dates of municipal collection sites between 2022 and 2024 are based on the historic annual volume of containers collected.
  • By December 31, 2024, all pesticide containers smaller than 23L will be collected at ag-retail locations. Upon closure of the municipal site, Cleanfarms will work with municipal locations to ensure that all containers are removed within a reasonable timeframe.

Additionally, Cleanfarms provided an update on three additional programs that collect grain bags & twine, bale wrap & silage plastics, and seed, pesticide & inoculant bags.

  1. The ‘Alberta Ag-Plastic. Recycle It! Program’ is a three-year (2019 – 2022), government-funded pilot project that helps farmers recycle used grain bags and twine. As of December 31, 2021, the program has collected and recycled over 1,600 metric tonnes (MT) of grain bags and 211 MT of twine. That’s over 100 semi-trailers full of used agricultural plastic. There are currently 90 collection locations across the province collecting either grain bags, twine, or both. Cleanfarms is seeking to expand twine collection throughout the province to provide better farmer access and has also applied for a term extension, which would take collections through August of 2023. More information about this program is available by visiting the program details page on Cleanfarms’ website.
  2. The ‘Building a Zero-Plastics-Waste Strategy for Agriculture’ initiative is a multi-year project to increase the recycling capacity for agricultural plastics (ag plastics) across Canada. Pilot ag plastic collection projects are a major component of this initiative, and in Alberta, pilots focus on bale wrap and silage plastic recycling. Through these pilots, Cleanfarms is testing the feasibility of using a manual compacting system to densify bale wrap and silage plastics quickly and inexpensively for storage, handling, and transport. Cleanfarms is working directly with farms and municipalities in Alberta to trial on-farm and public-access manual compactors. The pilot, which has been operating in Lethbridge County, will expand to other areas of the province in 2022. The project is funded in part by the Government of Canada through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), a $50.3 million, five-year investment to help the agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. Additional information is available by visiting the program details page on Cleanfarms’ website.
  3. The ‘Prairie Seed, Pesticide & Inoculant Pilot’ provides farmers with an environmentally safe way to manage their empty seed, pesticide, and inoculant (SPI) bags. Farmers can get free ag-collection bags to store and transport their empty SPI bags from their retailer. In 2021, 45 ag-retail locations in south-central Alberta accepted these empty bags. In 2022, over 220 ag-retailers/seed dealers in the province will have the ability to participate as collection points in the final year of this pilot program before it transitions into a permanent industry-led and funded program across the prairies. For further information on this program, visit the program details page on Cleanfarms’ website.

For more information on the changes or the before mentioned programs, please contact Davin directly:

Davin Johnson

Alberta Program Advisor

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