Safely dispose of obsolete pesticides & livestock medications

October 15, 2014, Vancouver, BC – Farmers from Vancouver Island and Fraser Valley are invited to safely and responsibly dispose of their unwanted or obsolete pesticides and livestock (including equine) medications from October 15-23. 

CleanFARMS, an industry-led, national not-for-profit agricultural waste management organization, in partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), is offering this program, which comes at no charge to farmers, this fall.  

“We are pleased with the past success of our collection programs in this province,” says Barry Friesen, general manager of CleanFARMS. “B.C. farmers’ enthusiasm about this program shows their continual commitment to protecting the environment and making responsible decisions on the farm.” 

Farmers in British Columbia have a long history of good stewardship practices. Since 1998, B.C. farmers have turned in more than 207,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides. This year is the first time in B.C. that livestock and equine medications have been added to the program. 

“The British Columbia Agriculture Council (BCAC) appreciates that through an industry led program, B.C. farmers can safely return unused products,” said Stan Vander Waal, BCAC Board Chair. “A clean and sustainable environment is critical for the long-term future of farming.” 

After collection, the pesticides and medications are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are disposed of through high temperature incineration. 

The following locations will be accepting obsolete pesticides and livestock/equine medications from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the dates specified: 

-       October 15: Vantreight Farms in Saanich at 8277 Central Saanich Road
-       October 16: Bings Creek Recycling Centre in Duncan at 3900 Drinkwater Road
-       October 17: Comox Valley Waste Management Centre in Cumberland at 2400 Bevan Road
-       October 20-12: Direct Solutions in Delata at 7430 Hopcott Road
-       October 22-23: Univar Canada in Abbotsford at 3256 McCallum Road

The obsolete pesticide and livestock/equine medication collection program is a national program that comes to each province on a three-year rotating basis. In between collections periods, farmers are asked to safely store their unwanted pesticides and livestock medications until they can properly dispose of them through the program.

Erin O’Hara
Media Relations
Tel: 613-230-9881 x3223

The obsolete pesticide collection program was launched by industry in 1998 as part of its commitment to the responsible lifecycle management of its products. In 2010, CleanFARMS was formed to manage several industry-funded agricultural waste management programs, including the obsolete pesticide collection program.  The collection of obsolete medications for livestock and horses has been added to the obsolete collections campaign for the first time this year (2014).

What are pesticides and livestock medications? 
Pesticides are registered substances regulated by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) that are used to control pest pressures, including fungi, insects and weeds, that can cause damage to crops.  

Similar to pesticides, animal health products are regulated by Health Canada or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  These products are used by veterinarians and animal owners to prevent, manage or treat pests and disease.

What kinds of products are collected? 
All liquid and dry/granular commercially labelled pesticides. They come in various sizes and types of containers from as small as 250 ml up to 500 L totes. They may also include products in multi-walled paper and plastic bags. The products are mainly for farm use but may also include obsolete pesticides from golf courses, commercial landscape, vegetative management and structural pest control operations.

Animal health products are quite similar in the relatively wide range of products that may be included in the collection that are labelled as a livestock or equine medication. The products may come in various container sizes and types from as small as 100 ml to 20 L pails or in plastic, glass, paper/plastic bags, tubes or blister packs.

Why do obsolete products exist? 
Obsolete products can result due to a number of different reasons.  These may include:

  • Farmers or applicators may have saved product one year and decided to use a new product the next year;
  • A farmer may have leftover pesticides from previous years that has become de-registered and no longer legal for use;
  • Farm ownership can change leaving the new owner with leftover product on site;
  • Farmers may start growing different crops that require different pest control products than what they currently have; and
  • Pest pressures can change from when farmers first purchase products leaving them with unusable products leftover.
  • Animal health products may have exceeded their expiry date, been accidently frozen (or exposed to excessive heat) causing the product to be ineffective.  Similarly an animal’s treatment course may have been altered / ended prematurely resulting in leftover product.

How are obsolete products handled and destroyed after they have been returned? 
Obsolete pesticides and livestock medications returned during the collection process are safely packed in leak-proof containers and transported by a licensed and insured hazardous waste hauler. When properly packaged and handled by trained professionals, these products do not pose a health and safety risk. 

All products are safely disposed using specialized high-temperature incineration, which is the most environmentally responsible disposal option. The incineration facility that CleanFARMS normally uses is approved by Environment Canada and is located in northern Alberta. It is a world-class facility developed and built specifically for the management of hazardous waste.

What safety measures are in place to manage potential spills? 
CleanFARMS and its licensed waste contractors have very detailed emergency response plans in place to manage any accidents or spills that may occur. Since the program began in 1998, there have not been any spills or accidents.