Environment Waikato has granted $15,000 from its Environmental Initiative Fund towards a farm plastics collection scheme. The Ministry for the Environment may also assist with an ‘amnesty period’ to collect existing packaging held by growers and farmers.
Responsible Resource Recovery develops sustainable and commercially driven waste solutions, including a recent paint recovery programme. The Growsafe Container Recovery programme would build on a project undertaken by the Sustainable Management Fund that looked at providing environmentally sustainable solutions for disposing of waste on-farm plastic containers and silage wrap nationwide.
The programme would be owned by the non-profit New Zealand Agrichemical Education Trust and the New Zealand Association for Animal Health and Crop Protection, with Responsible Resource Recovery Ltd managing it. Containers and wrap would be marked with a label to ensure only materials from supportive brand owners were accepted.
Clean wrap and containers would be accepted at collection compounds and processed by a specialist mobile processing unit. In the Waikato there would be 11 collection compounds, probably at landfills and transfer stations and one collection hub, probably based in Tokoroa. This would ensure that residents in the Region had easy access to facilities, reducing the likelihood of inappropriate disposal.
Environment Committee Chairman Paula Southgate said the application had the potential to significantly improve the environmental performance of one aspect of agriculture in the Waikato. The programme would also be available to non-farmers.