Farmers and Growers in Hurunui District Want to Manage Waste Well
A safe and sustainable option for disposing of farm waste is what drew Sheffield deer farmer, Stuart Stokes, to participate in the Agrecovery One Stop Shop events last year. This year, Stuart will be back at the Selwyn event with an additional 12 months’ worth of waste for disposal.
“As a farmer I don’t have the luxury of a rubbish collection at the end of the street. Last year I was cleaning out an old shed where I stored chemicals that I no longer use on farm due to changing farming practice and I wasn’t sure what to do with the old chemicals and containers. I heard about the Agrecovery One Stop Shop rural waste programme and signed up straight away. It was really simple, I just booked, turned up and disposed of the waste - easy! I will be participating again this year as it provides us with a viable option for getting rid of farm waste. I’m committed to operating in a sustainable way and these events help with achieving that goal. I would encourage all farmers to get involved,” said Stuart Stokes.
The Hurunui District one stop shop collection event will take place on Tuesday 3 November.
“The One Stop Shop events are becoming a highlight on the Agrecovery calendar with over 37,000 kilograms of fertiliser bags, 12,065 kilograms of chemicals and 8,500 kilograms of chemical containers dropped off at the six events held last year. This year we will have nine events in Canterbury and we are expecting collection totals to be higher. This is not just because of the increased number of events, but also because we know that our farming community is seeking out viable and safe options for waste disposal. They want to do the right thing and these events facilitate that,” said Felicity Mitchell, Programme Coordinator at Agrecovery.
Events are carefully managed, with attendance limited, so farmers and growers that want to be involved are encouraged to visit the Agrecovery website to register for the event closest to them. Following registration Agrecovery will share information about timing and waste preparation.
“Spaces filled up quickly after registrations opened last year so we are encouraging people that want to attend to register as soon as possible,” said Felicity.
Local authorities have partnered with Agrecovery to facilitate the One Stop Shop events.
Hurunui District Council Mayor Marie Black is looking forward to hosting a One Stop Shop event in November, which provides a great chance to catch up with farmers and help both educate and learn about responsible farm waste disposal.
“Helping farmers find a safe and sustainable solution for disposing of their farm waste is something that we at Hurunui District Council are one hundred percent behind. Looking after the environment holds a huge important with landowners and workers within the agricultural sectors, and the easier it can be for them to achieve their own environmental goals, the better,” said Mayor Black.
Waste must be prepared properly before dropping off and farmers and growers interested in registering for the events and finding out more about how to prepare material for drop off should visit www.Agrecovery.co.nz
In 2013 Environment Canterbury commissioned a study which sought to understand the non-natural waste streams and volumes of waste being generated on farms in the Canterbury region. This work found that, on average, farms were producing nearly 10 tonnes of non-natural rural waste each year in addition to domestic waste and animal remains. The report also confirmed that burning, burial and bulk storage of waste on farms are the prevalent methods being deployed to manage waste. Investigative work undertaken in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions in 2014 yielded similar results. As a result of this research Agrecovery and partners established the One Stop Shop events, providing the rural community with an option for disposal of rural on farm waste. The first pilot programme for the One Stop Shop Events took place in 2018 with follow up events in 2019.
The Agrecovery Foundation started in 2007, with a product stewardship programme designed to help clear plastic agrichemical containers and drums from farms and orchards around the country. The agrichemical industry funds the programme and recycles waste. The programme also sustainably disposes of unwanted agrichemicals.