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Farmers Urged To Use Free Agrichemical Collection

27 September 2004

Farmers Urged To Use Free Agrichemical Collection

Farmers should make the most of free collection services for unwanted agrichemicals, says Hugh Ritchie, National Board member of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

Mr Ritchie was responding to the Government’s ratification today of the Stockholm Convention, which bans the import and manufacture of nine persistent organic pollutant pesticide (POP) substances. The substances are Aldrin, Chlordane, DDT, Dieldrin, Endrin, Heptachlor, Mirex, Hexachlorobenzene, and Toxaphene.

By signing the convention New Zealand is required to dispose of the chemicals in an environmentally-friendly way from 27 December, 2004 (90 days after ratification).

“New Zealand farmers will not have used these chemicals for many years, but may have some forgotten in storage. Now is the time to get rid of them in a responsible manner for free,” said Mr Ritchie.

After Christmas 2004, the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) will be able to order farmers to pay for the disposal of any POPs found on their property - which in most cases will involve exporting to Europe for safe disposal.

To avoid this cost, the Ministry for the Environment is giving farmers the opportunity to have all unwanted agrichemicals collected from their farms for free, and is coordinating regional councils to undertake collections and arrange disposal.

“Farmers should contact their local regional council for more information about when the collections are being held. Until then, unwanted agrichemicals should continue to be stored safely and securely,” said Mr Ritchie.

For general information about the agrichemical collection programme visit: www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/waste/special/agrichemicals/.

ENDS

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