Farmers Dispose of Chemicals, Sharps through Ontario Program

A program to collect obsolete pesticides is being expanded this year to also provide farmers with safe disposal for unused animal health products and sharps. Taking place this fall, the program is part of an Ontario government-supported Great Lakes Basin water quality initiative that offers farmers a way to recycle these items.

As part of this project, farmers will be able to bring their obsolete pesticides, unused animal health products, and used sharps (needles, syringes, and scalpel blades) to a series of 16 collection sites across the province for safe and environmentally responsible disposal October 20 through 22, 2009. The service is free of charge.

"We are pleased to be able to provide this free service to farmers this year as a way of better protecting the environment and our water quality," said Lilian Schaer, projects manager with AGCare, the organization leading the program. "This is the first time we are offering collection for all of these products together and we are encouraging farmers to participate."

"Our industry has a deep commitment to sound stewardship practices and CropLife Canada is pleased that our obsolete collection program is being expanded to help farmers dispose of more items than ever before," said Lorne Hepworth, PhD, president of CropLife Canada.

Pesticide collection programs have been run by CropLife Canada since 1998 under the CleanFARMS banner. More than 270,000 kilograms of obsolete product have been collected in Ontario during previous collection campaigns in 2001 and 2005. A pilot project collecting just animal health products and used sharps was held at six collection sites in Ontario last fall. This year's expanded program is being run on a trial basis in conjunction with a feasibility study looking at long term, sustainable collection options.

"Farmers are responsible environmental stewards who are committed to protecting our water and our land," said Schaer. "Water quality is important to all Ontarians, but especially to farmers, who depend on it for their lives and their livelihoods."

This program is co-ordinated by AGCare with financial support from CropLife Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Other project partners include Ontario Farm Animal Council, Canadian Animal Health Institute, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, and Ontario Agri Business Association. For more information, visit  

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University of Guelph

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