Minister announces efforts to recycle more waste from our farms

MEDIA RELEASE - 5 September 2017

Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson is sending a strong message of support to help New Zealand’s rural recycling programme meet an ambitious target to clear more waste. The minister announced his decision to extend accreditation of Agrecovery as a product stewardship programme at an accreditation ceremony in Auckland yesterday.

“This is a vote of confidence for our scheme which, since 1 July, is being solely managed by the Agrecovery Foundation,” says its general manager, Simon Andrew.

Since the programme commenced, Agrecovery has diverted 1,800 tonnes of plastic from landfill or from harmful disposal practices like burning.  But Andrew says this is not enough and aims to boost recycling efforts to clear 60 percent of farm containers and drums by 2020.  “This is a significant increase on the 40 percent we are clearing today,” he says.

The accreditation coincides with the launch of innovative, state-of-the-art equipment for collection of plastic from the agricultural sector nationally. Purpose-built mobile shredding units were developed by EnviroWaste Services Limited – the organisation charged with collecting the used chemical containers and drums across the country. The first of two mobile shredding units were unveiled at Agrecovery’s accreditation ceremony.

“By introducing this new technology to collect used containers, EnviroWaste will help drive greater levels of participation in recycling for the rural sector.”

The shredders have a greater capacity, a quicker processing time and are much quieter. “This allows EnviroWaste to respond quickly, especially in the busy season, where farmers and growers are returning lots of empty chemical containers and drums,” says Andrew.

Farmers and growers are able to drop off empty plastic containers, free of charge, at 74 drop off points across New Zealand through the programme. For those with high volumes, on-farm pick-ups can be arranged.  Agrecovery also offers farmers and growers free disposal of large drums and unwanted chemicals.

Pictured below: Plastic containers being conveyed into the shredder unit while EnviroWaste Driver/Operator, Greg Carter, explains the process to Minister Simpson.

Agrecovery Rear with Containers 4