Hurunui Farmers Wise with Waste

IMG 7903Waiau are the latest Hurunui town to be welcomed on board with an agriculture recycling scheme farmers in the Hurunui have been making great use of.

Another collection point for used chemical containers has appeared in our district, this time in Waiau. The new Waiau service is part of a three pronged agricultural recycling strategy at play in the Hurunui.

The collection of used chemical containers, an environmentally conscious initiative by Agrecovery, has been well received in our district since 2009.

We actively participate and promote agricultural recycling in the Hurunui, including the means to recycle empty plastic chemical containers, bale wrap, HDPE 100 and 200 litre drums, polypropylene bags, vineyard net, twine, irrigation pipes, tree guards and unwanted chemicals. This is achieved by three programmes that handle different aspects of the list.

1) Agrecovery: Container Collection

Agrecovery creates places for empty plastic (HPDE) chemical containers to be dropped off for recycling. Since Agrecoverys’ adoption in the Hurunui, approximately 28 shipping containers worth of these chemical containers have been collected for recycling. Prior to this, they would most likely have been burnt or disposed of into pits, but Hurunui farmers are making positive recycling choices.

Agrecovery is a government accredited ‘Product Stewardship Scheme’ where customers are paying for the recycling at the point of purchase for approved brands (the cost of this scheme is built into the price of the products). There are Agrecovery drop off points in Culverden (Transfer Station), Cheviot (Transfer Station), Waiau (Transfer Station) and Amberley (PGG Wrightson).

2) Agrecovery: Chemical Roundups

Recent collections of chemicals in the Hurunui show farmers disposing of chemicals responsibly - nearly 30 tonne of unwanted chemicals were collected through various programs in this district last year (Through Agrecovery and also through a Ministry for the Environment earthquake recovery program).

We supported Agrecovery by helping to fund a round of agricultural chemical collections in 2018 and we continue to stay in contact with them. Agrecovery run these agricultural chemical collections generally every 12 to 18 months and farmers are continually registering their chemicals for the next round of collection. Bookings are taken by contacting Agrecovery directly.

3) Plasback: Plastic Collection Service

Plasback gets farms access to and collection of official bags or bins for bale wrap, HDPE 100 and 200 litre drums, polypropylene bags, vineyard net, twine, irrigation pipes and tree guards. Farmers have been making excellent use of the official Plasback bags and bins purchased in the Hurunui and Plasback reported a significant increase in the number of farmers using this program. It’s as simple as getting the right equipment and then calling for pick up once it is full. Collections are made from farms by McCarthy Contracting.

Mayor Winton Dalley said these recycling methods create a number of convenient local options for Hurunui farmers to manage difficult to recycle agricultural waste.

“Recycling plastics via Agrecovery and Plasback is enabling the agricultural sector to progress towards responsible environmental sustainability and at the same time creating a circular economy by recycling farm plastics back in to useful products” he said. 

“This has the added advantage of reducing the volumes of waste disposed of to landfill or sent overseas to be recycled.  The options Hurunui Council provides at our transfer stations will prevent the creation of problems for future generations, which result from burying, burning or stockpiling farm wastes”.

Ben Ferguson, Manager of Waiau Spraying Ltd, said it’s great to have a range of options in the Hurunui for managing on-farm plastic wastes.

“Having drop off points provided at the Cheviot, Culverden and now the Waiau transfer stations on behalf of Agrecovery is really convenient and, as the cost of recycling is built into the purchase price of the product, there really is no excuse for not utilising such schemes” he said.

To register for or talk about chemical collection:

Free Phone: 0800 247 326
Landline: 04 499 6777

To register for or talk about plastic collection:

Phone: +64 3 338 2400
Collection Booking: 0508 338 240

For further information:

Sally Cracknell
Team Leader – Waste Minimisation
Hurunui District Council
Office: 03 314 8816
Mobile: 027 240 1107