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Agricultural Waste Recycling Programs for South Saskatchewan

Transforming agriculture with recycling. Converting waste into resources, minimizing environmental impact, and fostering sustainable farming practices for a resilient future.

Recycling agricultural materials is important, and part of the programs offered in south Saskatchewan. The goal is reducing materials sitting around where rain water can run off of them and move debris and contaminants into the waterways. This includes the important South Saskatchewan River.Â

The quality of water in this region is vital for survival. It influences the lifespan of fish and other aquatic life in the water. It influences the quality of water for irrigation to grow crops and for livestock to drink. Residents rely on quality drinking water for their homes. Many of the farms and ranches have wells. Industry in the area relies on the water to create power. Everyone has a responsibility to do what they can to reduce agricultural waste, and these recycling programs are a wonderful way to dispose of those items correctly.

CleanFarms

One of the best programs is CleanFarms, offering a place for anyone in Saskatchewan to safely drop off their items. This program accepts pesticides and unused animal medications too. Collecting those items and properly disposing of them ensures the harmful products don’t end up in the water.Â

Collection takes place at more than 20 locations throughout Saskatchewan. This makes it convenient for residents to bring in those items and dispose of them. There is no charge for using this service. The collection for most items takes place between May and October annually. Plastic, metal, and twine items can be dropped off all year.

Details on what is collected, locations, and times of year are provided online. Items must be properly contained and meet guidelines to be accepted at a drop-off location. For fertilizer and pesticide products, there are collection bags free of charge at the sites. The products must be placed inside of a collection bag before they are accepted.

Agricultural Plastics

The volume of plastic used for any agricultural entity adds up quickly. There are programs in south Saskatchewan designed to encourage recycling the plastic items. Some of the common products include:

  • Grain bags
  • Net wrap
  • Plastic containers
  • Seed bags
  • Silage plastic
  • Twine

Plastic is a common source for packaging agricultural products. It is lightweight. It protects the product inside from moisture. The chemical components of plastic mean the material doesn’t breakdown easily. Many landfills won’t accept some of these agricultural items because they are large and they take up lots of space. Burning plastic items is discouraged because of the carcinogens released into the air. They can cause health problems including issues for the immune system, nervous system, and reproductive system of humans and animals.

Residue inside of plastic containers from chemicals and pesticides can become an issue too, especially when the containers don’t have a lid on them. There are over 40 facilities in Saskatchewan where plastic can be taken all year long.Â

Positive Impact on the EnvironmentÂ

These programs have been very successful! Data from 2018 shows over 1.9 million plastic containers were collected through these programs that year! That is about 704,000 kg of plastic that didn’t end up in landfills, the waterways, or being burned. The items collected are properly cleaned and then the plastic is turned into pellets.

The pellets are processed to create plastic bags, lumber plastic, and drainage tiles. The recycles grain bags are turned into industrial garbage bags and construction production sheets. Residents of south Saskatchewan are encouraged to use and support these programs in an effort to offer a cleaner environment and uphold water quality.Â