Obsolete products collection campaign a success

Ontario farmers safely disposed of over 125,000 kilograms of obsolete crop pro­tection and animal health pro­ducts and used needles in a province-wide collection blitz last fall.


Last year’s collection mark­ed the first time the steward­ship program was expanded be­yond obsolete crop protection products to include other agri­cultural waste streams.

“Canada’s plant science industry is committed to safe, environmentally responsible practices. From lab to label, through storage and disposal, programs like this represent the industry’s pledge to responsibly manage its products,” said Lorne Hepworth, president of Croplife Canada, the trade association representing the developers, manufacturers and distributors of  plant science innovations and founder of the  program.

The Ontario “Clean­farm­stm” program, which ran Oct. 20 to 22, 2009 at 16 collection sites across the province, col­lec­ted over 123,000 kilograms of obsolete agricultural pest control products, 913 kilo­grams of unused animal health products and 1,057 kilograms of used sharps (needles, syrin­ges and scalpel blades).

Approximately 1,000 farm­ers participated in the program, with almost 70% bring­ing in crop protection products only, 15% bringing animal health products only, and 16% bring­ing both.

“The response of the farm­ing community to this collec­tion program was tremendous,” says Paul Wettlaufer, a farmer and chairman of AgFarm a coali­tion of Ontario farm groups focused on environmental is­sues. “Farm­ers are responsible envi­ronmental stewards. We are committed to protecting the land and water, and programs like this are important tools to help us do that.”

The 2009 “Clean­farm­stm” collection was part of an Onta­rio government-supported Great Lakes basin water quality initiative, which also included a feasibility study to examine long term, sustainable collec­tion options. Pesticide collec­tion programs in Canada have collected and safely destroyed 1.4 milli­on kilograms of product.