Saturday, 30 March 2019 10:22

Project to clear more waste from farms

Written by 
Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage (middle-right) with Agrecovery board and staff. Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage (middle-right) with Agrecovery board and staff.

A new project launched this week provides farmers alternatives to the harmful disposal practices of burning, burying and stock-piling of waste.

The New Zealand Rural Waste Minimisation Project was launched at the South Island Agricultural Field Days in Kirwee by Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.

Rural recycling programme Agrecovery will implement the Project by offering nationwide events for farmers to sustainably dispose of waste all in one go. This will clear agrichemical and motor oil containers, unwanted agrichemicals, used motor oil, fertiliser bags and silage wrap. 

“By providing a ‘one-stop-shop approach’, we will be removing barriers to recycling and encouraging our rural communities to participate in sustainable disposal practices for a variety of waste,” says Agrecovery board chair Adrienne Wilcock. 

The Agrecovery Foundation started in 2007, setting its sights to clear plastic agrichemical containers and drums from farms and orchards around the country.  The agrichemical industry chose to fund the programme so its waste could be made into useful products within New Zealand. The programme also sustainably disposes of unwanted agrichemicals.

Sage says that businesses must take responsibility for their products throughout their whole life cycle. “Both voluntary and mandatory product stewardship is essential to ensure resources are managed sensibly. Agrecovery has long recognised this and started one of the earliest voluntary product stewardship schemes. There have been a few in the industry who haven’t participated in the process and it is clear that government intervention may be necessary.

“That is why I instructed officials to begin investigations into Mandatory Product Stewardship for four waste streams.  All producers have a responsibility to the environment to minimise the harm that their products have, and one way to ensure this is through mandatory product stewardship.”

The project builds upon two trial events held last year which collected almost 20 tonnes of rural waste.  “Solving waste issues by providing a service that deals with waste all in one go was supported by farmers who participated in the events,” says Wilcock.

“It is critical that we take responsibility for all plastics used on farms - which have long been problematic - and meet these challenges head-on.”

Agrecovery has high ambitions to clear more rural waste by partnering with industry groups, product stewardship schemes and councils around the country to make it easier for rural communities to recycle.


More like this

Killing the golden cow? — Editorial

OPINION: The proposed livestock methane target reduction looks like a case of the Government killing the golden goose – or more correctly the cow, sheep and deer – of the NZ economy. 

Nats stunned by methane target

National's climate change spokesman Todd Muller says the proposed target for methane reduction puts the New Zealand agricultural sector at “real risk”.

Tyres turning green

It's not only the rural sector coming under pressure to clean up its environmental footprint.

Fonterra to support farmers meet target

Fonterra says the Government's new methane target is very ambitious and will need hefty spending on R&D to give farmers the solutions they need to achieve.


» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound


Fonterra has copped a fair bit of stick from the Hound over the years. However, on this occasionyour old mate…

No idea

A mate of the Hound reckons it is rather ironic – and totally appropriate – that the failing Australian-owned and controlled…


» Connect with Rural News