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Grant will accelerate Agrecovery’s rural waste recycling

Government funding of $381,000 announced today is a shot in the arm for the agricultural industry’s ongoing campaign to recycle and re-use, Federated Farmers environment spokesperson Chris Allen says.

Agrecovery, a not-for-profit agency of which Feds is a founding trustee, has since 2006 diverted from landfill, or harmful disposal practices like burning or burying, well over 2000 tonnes of agrichemical plastic containers and other materials.

"Farmers are highly motivated to do the right thing for the environment, and this programme shows them that products once considered rubbish have a value, can be recycled and re-purposed for products such as underground utility coverings and building materials," Chris says.

Farmers are already able to drop-off agrichemical containers at nearly 100 collection sites around the country under the voluntary product stewardship scheme run by Agrecovery.

Agrecovery also collects large quantities of containers and drums from farms, and disposes of unwanted agrichemicals. The manufacturers who participate in the programme fund it by paying a levy on the products they sell into the marketplace.

"Building on this, the successful grant application to the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund will enable Agrecovery to hold a series of one-stop-shop waste recovery events. As well as agrichemicals and their containers, farmers will be able to bring along other farm waste such as fertilizer bags, used oil, scrap metal, silage/bailage wrap and other soft plastics," Chris says.

"The aim is to see rural waste either recycled, or disposed of, in an efficient, safe and managed way. We need that national-scale system of recovery, and good access for farmers in every part of the provinces."

Agrecovery general manager Simon Andrew says they trialed two pop-up rural waste recovery events in Matamata and Geraldine last year and close to 20 tonnes of material was collected in just two days.

Six more trial events are taking place this year as Agrecovery "refines and tests" processes, Simon says, and the funding will enable the frequency and geographical spread of the pop-ups to increase.

"We’re striving for greater levels of product stewardship and ultimately more processing facilities for these kinds of materials in New Zealand, so recyclables don’t have to go overseas for re-purposing."

ENDS


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