+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 13-14F

ESRD Monitoring of CleanFARMS Pesticide Container Recycling Program

October 1, 2014
Expiry Date:
November 30, 2017
Active Status:
County of Vermilion River
5 - Edmonton East
Vote Results:

WHEREAS a substantial volume of agricultural pesticide containers are sold annually in most rural municipalities and counties; and

WHEREAS the agricultural chemical industry has developed a pesticide container recycling program through CleanFARMS; and

WHEREAS waste collection sites in Alberta have cooperated with the CleanFARMS pesticide container recycling program by providing container drop off locations and temporary storage; and

WHEREAS Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development provides guidance for waste collection procedures; and

WHEREAS the CleanFARMS Pesticide Container Recycling Program has experienced container removal delays from waste collection sites in 2014 which could limit container recycling; 

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal District and Counties requests Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development to monitor the CleanFARMS Pesticide Container Recycling Program in Alberta and intervene, if necessary, to ensure pesticide containers continue to be recycled and not left scattered in rural areas.  

Member Background:

CleanFARMS partners with ag-retailers and municipalities to collect empty commercial pesticide and fertilizer containers from farmers across the country. Since the program began in 1989, more than 100 million empty containers have been collected.

Farmers drop off their clean empty containers at the nearest collection site at no charge.  The program operates each growing season.  The containers are then recycled into valuable materials that can be used back on the farm, such as farm drainage tile.

Containers that are twenty-three litres or smaller are collected through this program. Containers larger than twenty-three litres should be returned to the point of sale or to the manufacturer for disposal. Containers used for home and garden care with the word ‘domestic’ on their label should be disposed of through an appropriate municipal program.

The empty container recycling program plays an important role in protecting the environment by keeping recyclable materials out of landfills and preventing them from being burned.

Together, we collected 1,458,210 empty pesticide and fertilizer containers in Alberta last year.  We also celebrated the collection of our 100 millionth container since the program began in 1989.

Contractor information:

This year, Stericycle Canada, one of Canada’s leading waste management firms, will begin servicing our Alberta collection sites.

Pesticide container sites may be designed as uncovered or covered facilities.  Typical uncovered facilities are constructed with a clay lined base as a minimum, and may be designed to include a synthetic membrane liner.  Pesticide container storage sites should be designed to drain to a liquid holding basin to avoid contamination surrounding surface water systems.  Fences should be designed to prevent blowing of the stored containers during windy conditions.

CleanFARMS has been dealing with some service issues regarding the Container Management Program this year.

Stericycle has had some trouble keeping up with the container returns at the larger collection sites in the province.  As a result, they have dedicated more resources and purchased a mobile shredding unit to help tackle the backlog.

RMA Background:

3-12F: Recycling Agriculture Plastics

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Provincial Government to develop recycle programs for the agriculture industry for the recycling of agricultural plastics.

DEVELOPMENTS: The ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) and Environment and Sustainable Resource (ESRD) scoped the issue of waste management in rural Alberta through a survey process that sampled agricultural producers and municipal waste authorities.  The AAMDC met with the Minister of ARD  in early 2013 who noted there is a lack in regional facilities which creates a challenge associated with high costs of hauling agriculture plastics long distances for recycling purposes.

The AAMDC and ARD engaged with CleanFARMS through their development of an Alberta Agricultural Waste Characterization Study, which was released in August 2013. While the study inventories and quantifies the plastic waste generated on Alberta farms, it does not directly address the need for or possibility of recycling programs to address this waste. Though the Government is making strides to better understand the challenges associated with recycling agricultural plastics, there has not been any efforts to establish a recycle program for agricultural plastics to date. As such, this resolution is deemed Unsatisfactory and will continue to be monitored. 

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