BONNYVILLE – MD of Bonnyville farmers will have to get used to dropping their 23L or less agriculture chemical jugs off at a new location following a province-wide push to move collection sites from municipal locations to retailers.
“The Cleanfarms chemical jug recycling program is gradually changing to align with other provinces, enabling farmers to bring their empty and rinsed containers back to their local agricultural retail outlets,” explained Brad Ollen, the manager of Waste Services for the MD of Bonnyville.
Ollen outlined the changes to the Cleanfarm ag jug recycling program to council during a Waste Services quarterly report on Feb. 14.
“The transition shifts the responsibility to accept empty containers from the municipality to the ag industry,” he continued.
“What this means for us is that as of Jan. 1, 2023, the Goodridge chem jug Cleanfarms collection site at the Goodridge Landfill is now closed for drop off and producers are directed to take their jugs to either the collection site at the Bonnyville Seed Cleaning Plant or back to the retailer.”
Cleanfarms has been working with the provinces of Alberta and Manitoba in a phased approach to gradually reduce the burden on retail and municipal services, to increase convenience for farmers who can now bring the containers back to the retail outlets, and to align with other provinces.
The transition process began in 2022 and will continue until 2024.
“Also, as a point of clarification, jugs will be accepted at any retailer that sells agricultural chemical products and not specifically the retailer where they were purchased,” added Ollen.
Coun. Don Slipchuk asked if the municipality would see any cost savings now that ag jugs will no longer be collected at the Goodridge Landfill.
In response, Ollen noted that the change would not make a difference to the MD’s bottom line. "That program is contracted through Cleanfarms and they send a contractor in once a year to clean up the site. So, there was really no cost [to the municipality].”
Last year alone, more than 5.2 million empty pesticide and fertilizer containers were collected through the Cleanfarms program, according to the Cleanfarms website. Additionally, nearly 300,000 empty seed and pesticide bags were also returned.
Electronic recycling in the MD
The extension of an Alberta recycling Management Authority’s (ARMA) electronics recycling pilot project, known as ePilot, means MD of Bonnyville landfills will continue collecting nearly all types of electronic equipment for the foreseeable future.
In December, ARMA received a ministerial order to extend the electronics recycling pilot project, Ollen told council.
“The extension permits the pilot project to continue operating as currently established to provide additional time for ARMA to work with the government on recommendations for an expansion to the widely known electronics recycling program,” he said.
“What this means for us is we will continue to accept over 600 types of electronic items for recycling at our sites. Essentially any household item or toy with a battery or cord is acceptable in this program and can be dropped off at one of our landfills.”
A full list of accepted items can be found at www.armaepilot.com