If you’re farming in the Waitomo district now’s a good time to check your farm sheds for old, unused or unwanted agrichemicals. That’s because Environment Waikato, in conjunction with the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), is running a free agrichemical collection in the district next month.
Waikato Federated Farmers President Peter Buckley said many farmers had agrichemicals in their sheds that had passed their ‘use by’ date, were no longer registered for use, or were no longer required.
“There is always a risk of these old, unwanted agrichemicals leaking from their containers and, in some cases, contaminating a farm and its environment. We therefore support this initiative to provide a free and safe collection service,” Mr Buckley said.
Fonterra and the Waikato Pesticide Awareness Committee (WaiPAC) are also supporting the collection.
Although all pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and animal remedies/veterinary medicines will be collected, Environment Waikato and MfE are particularly interested in collecting some of the more persistent chemicals such as DDT, dieldrin, lindane, chlordane, 245T, arsenic sprays and sheep dips.
“As a signatory to the Stockholm Convention, New Zealand has agreed to stop using these types of chemicals,” said Environment Waikato resource use programme manager David Stagg.
“This means farmers can no longer use these chemicals. What’s more, they are required to safely dispose of them. But handling these types of persistent chemicals can be dangerous and disposal is expensive, so this collection is a great opportunity for farmers to get rid of them at no risk or cost to them.”
Environment Waikato assures farmers the collection is confidential and no records will be kept about the amount or types of agrichemicals collected from people’s farms.
To participate in the collection, farmers must register their agrichemicals with Environment Waikato on or before Friday, 19 January so the contractor can arrange collection.
All farmers in the Waitomo district should have received a letter and registration form. But if you haven’t, and you’ve got chemicals you would like to have collected, you can register by calling Environment Waikato’s freephone 0800 800 401.