NewsResourcesCleanfarms Releases 2022 Report Detailing Ag Recycling

Cleanfarms Releases 2022 Report Detailing Ag Recycling


The following piece is from our sister publication, the Alberta Seed Guide.

The 2022 annual report for Cleanfarms shows how Canadian farmers managed waste agricultural plastic products and packaging for recycling and safe disposal, a May 5 news release said. In the report Cleanfarms described how opportunities to divert agricultural waste materials from landfill have expanded beyond the long-standing small and large pesticide and fertilizer containers, adding options are available to operate farms sustainably.

In 2022 a three-year project to collect seed, pesticide and inoculant (SPI) bags across the Prairies moved from a pilot to a permanent program, the release said. Commonly used to deliver agricultural crop inputs, SPI bags have been collected in the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec for more than a decade, but it wasn’t an option available for Western Canadian. Now empty SPI bags can be taken to Cleanfarms’ collection sites from Prince Edward Island to Alberta. In 2022, about 553,800 kg of SPI bags, including fertilizer bags in Quebec, were recovered.

“Plastic products like grain bags, baler twine, jugs and 1000L totes are important tools in the agricultural industry. Farmers, like other Canadians, want ways to manage these materials as part of a sustainable circular economy. At Cleanfarms, our job is to develop and launch programs that are cost efficient and give growers options to see these materials repurposed as new products,” Barry Friesen, Cleanfarms executive director, said in the release.

The report noted another recycling program included in the annual report is the pilot project to recover bale wrap and silage bags, made from a plastic commonly used to preserve hay for livestock feed. Through partnerships such as with Dairy Farmers of Canada, Cleanfarms initiated pilot projects across the country to assess the effectiveness of using a compactor mechanism to compress loose bale wrap and silage bags, bunker covers and silage tarps into bales that are more easily stored and transported for recycling.

“Pilot projects are the foundation of Cleanfarms’ program development to recover these materials. Through pilots we figure out how growers will use the programs, how to collect and transport materials, and how to ensure recyclables go to viable end markets. Pilots are the tool we use to determine what works and what doesn’t, and how to tweak systems until they are as efficient as possible. Then, wherever possible, we transition them to permanent programs,” Friesen explained.

In the 2022 annual report, Cleanfarms highlighted the collection of agricultural materials since the inception of the programs for each:

  • Plastic pesticide and fertilizer containers 23L and smaller – 149 million units
  • Non-refillable bulk pesticide and fertilizer drums and totes – 392,000 units
  • Seed and pesticide bags – 3,000 tonnes
  • Unwanted old pesticides – 4,200 tonnes
  • Old, obsolete livestock/equine medications – 67.3 tonnes
  • Grain bags, agricultural film and baler twine plastic – 12,700 tonnes

Related Articles

P.E.I. Expands Ag Recycling Program with Cleanfarms

Manitoba Announces Two New Sustainability Programs

McCain Foods Releases Its 2022 Sustainability Report

Trending This Week

Newly emerged rows of potatoes

It’s Go-time for Growing Season 2023 (But Don’t Forget Storage, Too)

Planting is on the horizon in some areas and in full swing in others! After a frustratingly cool and slow spring in most potato-growing...
Person making a plan

Setting Goals in Cover Cropping — A Key to Success

Where are you going? How soon do you want to get there? These are questions we need to ask before we head out on...
Green potato field

How Do We Achieve Meaningful Sustainability?

It seems everyone is talking sustainability today. But, what does sustainability really mean in the context of today’s farming realities, and how do we...
Spudnik 8312 planter

Manitoba Potato Planting Nearing Finish Line

Almost 95 per cent of Manitoba's processing potato crop has been planted, the May 26 provincial potato report from Manitoba Agriculture’s Vikram Bisht said. Seed...
Kenya flag

Nairobi, Kenya to Host 2026 World Potato Congress

Nairobi, Kenya has been chosen as the site for the 2026 World Potato Congress (WPC), a May 23 news release said. This will be...