MANAWATU District Council is urging users of agrichemical plastic containers to take advantage of a free recycling service operating in Feilding.
The service, part of AgRecovery’s rural recycling programme and offered by PGG Wrightson Ltd out of its Manchester Street depot, enables farmers, horticulturalists, spraying contractors or home gardeners to dispose of their empty receptacles in a special six metre-long sea container.
Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator David McMillan said the service would help keep farms and properties safer and tidier and prevent toxic material from being spread throughout the countryside.
“It’s a simple operation,” he said. “All you have to do is triple rinse the container, wash off the residual chemicals and leave the labels on. It’s a win-win situation because it gets the material off the farm as well as out of the landfill. We don’t want that stuff going there unnecessarily.”
Mr McMillan said the containers were reused as underground cable cover.
“You can’t use it again in its original form as it has residual chemicals in it, so you have to put it somewhere where there is no human contact.”
He said burning the empty containers was quite a toxic way of disposing of the plastic because the soot could spread into a neighbour’s property. It could also be eaten by animals and go into the food chain.
PGG Wrightson Store Manager Martin Higham said containers ranging in size from one litre to 60 litres, and involving brands and products belonging to participating brand names, would be accepted. They also had to be emptied and triple rinsed and free from residue inside and out.
He said all containers were inspected to ensure the programme was safe and fully compliant and the Feilding collection site was one of 70 throughout New Zealand.
“People are now becoming more aware that the service is available,” said Mr Higham, “with many farmers finding it handy because of the amount of containers they collect in their woolsheds.”
He said most people followed the instructions, though on the odd occasion a container had not been rinsed properly and needed to be redone.
AgRecovery and PGG Wrightson are also involved in another recycling option – the used silage wrap collection where two different sized recycling bags may be purchased to contain the wrap for shipping. The collection would also help improve the farm environment.