The Agrecovery Rural Recycling Programme featured on TV ONE's Rural Delivery on Saturday 16 March. Duncan Scotland was interviewed about the growth of the programme since its launch, what farmers and growers can recycle and dispose of through Agrecovery and how the service works.
Agrecovery is urging all farmers and growers to take a look in their sheds and get rid of any unwanted or expired chemicals through one of the eight regional agrichemical collections it has planned this year.
The first collections for 2013 start shortly in Waikato, Otago and Southland and those wanting to dispose of unwanted chemicals need to book with Agrecovery by 8 March. A collection in Canterbury is also planned shortly afterwards with bookings required by 22 March.
Many agrichemicals and animal health products are eligible for free disposal through the support of the 59 brand owners who participate in the Agrecovery programme, while others are subsidised through central government and some regional councils.
Figures released by the Agrecovery Rural Recycling Programme show that more farmers and growers throughout New Zealand are embracing sustainable farming practices by recycling their waste plastics.
In the last six months of 2012 around 6500 Agrecovery members have handed over 75,000kg of container plastic and just under 200,000kg of used silage plastics for recycling with Agrecovery.
Agrecovery sales and marketing manager Duncan Scotland says that these volumes represent significant growth in programme uptake across all regions and market sectors.
“Total volume across all materials is around 65% higher than a year ago, while the volume of silage plastics collected has nearly doubled. The waste materials collected just in the last six months would fill over 150 shipping containers, a great result when you consider that most of it would have previously been buried or burnt on-farm.”
From a regional perspective, Waikato and Canterbury have the highest volumes of materials collected (approximately 47,000 and 42,000kg respectively in the last six months), and Duncan notes that Agrecovery is working hard to provide greater access to services in all areas.
“With over 70 permanent collection sites our programme is easily accessible to the majority of rural properties in New Zealand, but recently we’ve been going to additional areas and holding one-day collection events to extend our reach even further.
“Some of the collections we’ve held have been hugely popular, with farmers’ utes queued up at the gate to deliver hundreds of containers at a time. In the case of Darfield (inland Canterbury) we had to schedule a second event due to farmer demand.”
Following the success of a similar promotion in 2012, New Zealand’s leading rural recycling programme is again offering $5000 worth of rewards to encourage more farmers and growers to get recycling.
The Agrecovery container programme provides free recycling for empty, triple rinsed containers, sized 60 litres and under, from 59 supporting brand owners. Containers are shredded and recycled in New Zealand into a compliant end-use; a far better outcome than burning or burying on farm.
While the programme is already well utilised by thousands of farmers and growers, Duncan Scotland of Agrecovery suggests that the chance to win one of ten $500 vouchers may be just the nudge that others require to get started with Agrecovery, especially in the pastoral sector which has not seen the same uptake as in horticulture and viticulture.
The Tyrewise Working Group has released Scoping Report 4: ‘What might a future programme look like?’ which outlines the industry preferred option for a national product stewardship scheme for end of life tyres (ELTs).
Currently around four million tyres come to the end of their useful life in New Zealand each year and there is no consistent and sustainable nationwide approach for their disposal. Many tyres end up in landfills, are stockpiled or illegally dumped. This poses environmental risks and in some cases health and safety risks. Furthermore, it is wasting a valuable resource that could be processed into a useful end product for which there is significant demand.
Tyrewise is calling on interested parties to provide feedback on the proposed scheme at one of two consultation workshops that will be held in Auckland and Christchurch at the end of March.
Gareth Mentzer of 3R Group, the Tyrewise Project Managers, says, “We have consulted and engaged extensively with all stakeholders to ensure we are tackling the issues head on. This report takes into account the wide range of feedback we have received since the project started in March last year. "It identifies what a future programme might look like and how it would operate based on what the majority of industry players have told us they prefer. “If these recommendations are implemented, we believe New Zealand will have a widely supported and sustainable solution to what is currently an unacceptable environmental situation. “We are very close to presenting the Working Group’s final recommendations to the Minister for the Environment and would like further feedback from interested parties so we can ensure the final report is as robust as possible,” says Gareth.
Interested parties can have their say by registering to attend one of two consultation workshops. To register call 0800 TYREWISE (0800 897 394) or email firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com After registration, those attending will be sent the necessary documents and the event locations.