July 18, 2005

Operation CleanFarm provides proper handling for 184,000 kg of old agricultural chemicals

EDMONTON, ALTA-Operation CleanFarm, a pilot farm conservation program conducted over the past three years helped remove184,000 kilograms (kg) of pesticides from Alberta farms. As a result, the program organizers are planning a follow-up initiative, to be launched in three years. Operation CleanFarm, funded by Croplife Canada and the Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta, offered farmers an easy, no-cost way to dispose of old, unwanted pesticides. All they had to do was drop them off at approved warehouses, where contractors picked up the materials and brought them to the Swan Hills Treatment Centre for proper treatment and disposal. During the final phase of the program, carried out in southern Alberta in 2004, more than 76,200 kg of pesticides were collected. This was in addition to nearly 88,400 kg from central Alberta in 2003 and 19,605 kg from northern Alberta in 2002. The total collected was comparable in weight to that of 116 mid-sized cars. Until the next Operation CleanFarm program starts up, organizers are urging farmers and all Albertans to manage their pesticides and chemical products properly, for example by asking dealers to take back any unopened pesticide containers or by sharing partially used supplies.

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