Site hosts

Agrecovery collection sites are hosted by an amazing group of local and national businesses, contractors and councils.
We thought you might like to meet some of them and hear what they have to say about recycling…

Scott Morpeth

Wanganui Farm Supplies
Wanganui

Wanganui Farm Supplies have been an Agrecovery container drop-off point since 2010.  Manager, Scott Morpeth recalls that when they were approached by Agrecovery, they thought it was a such a good idea they didn’t hesitate to get involved.

Established in 1987, Wanganui Farm Supplies is a well-known rural retail outlet.  They service the equestrian market, plus sheep, beef and dairy farmers and the horticultural industry.

“Farmers can now recycle their plastic containers whenever we’re open,” says Scott.  “Six days a week is a lot more convenient than 3 hours once a month like the old days.”

The Agrecovery programme means farmers no longer need to have containers lying around on their farms, nor do they have to burn them, or dump them in the ground.

“The practice of burning or burying containers is really not acceptable at all nowadays, says Scott.

“If we can make it easier for farmers to get rid of the containers with Agrecovery, then we have all done a pretty good job.”

Through the Agrecovery Foundation, the brand owners who distribute agrichemical, animal health and dairy hygiene products into the New Zealand market take responsibility for the disposal of these products and their packaging by funding the service.

It doesn’t cost the farmer anything to recycle the packaging with Agrecovery.  Containers can be taken to collection sites like Wanganui Farm Supplies and drums can be booked for on-property collection online.

According to Scott, being free is important: “If you’ve got a place to take your plastic containers where it’s free and it’s easy, it’s all the more desirable.”

In Scott’s experience there can be hundreds of containers floating around on a farm and he recommends putting them on a trailer or ute when they’re empty and bringing them in to Wanganui Farm Supplies.

Scott says “Small loads are often easier. Whenever a farmer comes into town, they’ve only got to swing past here with 20 or 30 on board to get rid of them. It helps keep their place tidy.”

Good environmental practices should matter to the whole primary industry, but ultimately Scott believes it comes down to the end users.

“We’ve got to leave this place to our kids, and plastics don’t break down very quickly on their own. If everyone did their part, the world would be a lot better off” he says.

Scott thinks those who are supporting Agrecovery should be applauded, whether it’s the brand owner or the farmer:  “Good on them, I say. It’s good for the country and it keeps the environment clean – so it’s a no brainer really.”

Site details

Joy Edmond

Progressive Plant Solutions
Temuka

The disposal of empty agrichemical containers is a common problem for many farmers, growers and contractors.  Broad-acre spraying and chemical applicators, Progressive Plant Solutions in Temuka, are no different but they’ve turned a problem into a positive for the whole community.

Since 2010, Progressive has been hosting an Agrecovery container collection site, enabling them and others in the area to turn their waste plastic into a useful resource.

Agrecovery rural recycling provides free recycling for plastic agrichemical, animal health and dairy containers funded by manufacturers and distributors of the products.  There are over 70 sites nationwide hosted by local businesses like Progressive Plant Solutions.

Joy Edmond manages the collection activity at their site. “Having the service on our site and being able to dispose of containers in an environmentally friendly manner is an absolute plus to our business and all the farmers that we service.

“When we’re spraying we don’t leave anything on site unless the farmer particularly asks us to or it is not practical at the time,” says Joy. “Taking it away and recycling it is all part of our service.”

Progressive Plant Solutions are centrally located in the region, and being rural, it’s not far for people to access the site for their own agchem containers.

In Joy’s opinion, Agrecovery is the best way for farmers to dispose of their empties. It is friendly to the environment and is preferable to burying or burning them.

“It is just the best way to get rid of the containers. It’s best practice, and it’s free!” says Joy.

The container plastic is turned into underground electrical cable cover used across New Zealand, including the very site where some of it was collected.

“We had the cable laid all down our driveway and across the yard when they wired up our current site.” Joy recalls. “So it’s a win-win, disposing of it properly is good for the environment, and it serves another purpose, which is really helpful.”

Positive feedback from customers regarding the recycling service is common.

Regular user of the depot, Richard Geary from Helicopters South Canterbury says “The Agrecovery collection site at Progressive Plant Solutions is an easy place for us to use, being local, with a good big yard for trailers. They have helpful staff and it really works well for us.  We use it once every couple of weeks.”

Joy encourages others to give it a try, if they’re not already: “The Agrecovery programme is so great because it’s environmentally friendly and it helps get rid of the waste. It’s a good service, so do the right thing and recycle with us!”

Site details

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Peter Thomson

Agrispray and Equipment Ltd
Mosgiel

Farmers are coming under far more scrutiny these days by regulators and the public says Peter Thomson of Agrispray and Equipment in Mosgiel.

Agrispray run a specialist agrichemical and spray machinery retail business and host the local Agrecovery collection site.  Sales and Technical Manager, Peter, believes responsible disposal of spray containers is paramount for their business: “It’s just good stewardship”.

As suppliers to a wide range of industries, Agrispray and Equipment Limited deal with most agrichemical users.

“Our industry tries to follow the principles of responsible and effective use of agrichemicals.  I think recycling fits into that quite well as does hosting the recycling site,” says Peter.

He has been in the industry since 1974 and recalls the transition from steel or tin containers to plastics. “It’s not that long ago every container was labelled ‘Burn when wind permits’ for disposal,” Peter says.

Burning of plastics has gradually become much stricter with the introduction of the Resource Management Act and council air quality plans. “Our industry had to come up with some sort of a solution,” recalls Peter. “If you can’t burn, you’ve got to find another way.

“And since it takes something like 300 years before they start to break down in the landfill, burying wasn’t a sustainable practice either.”

The agrichemical industry responded and put a lot of effort and investment into setting up Agrecovery to enable recycling of the plastic containers.   “It’s a great scheme, it’s free and works really well – I can’t see why people wouldn’t use it,” says Peter.

Another important aspect is that a growing number of farmers and growers are becoming part of quality assurance or GAP [Good Agricultural Practice] programmes for export markets. These require empty agrichemical containers to be recycled through Agrecovery.

“It’s not just about the perception of the public in New Zealand or doing the right thing for the regulators here, it’s also about good management in terms of our overseas trading partners. They want to see best practice,” Peter says.

Agrisray DN-4

The business gets extremely positive feedback from their customers. “They can’t burn, and it’s not good practice to bury, so as far as they’re concerned there’s only one scheme for disposal and that’s Agrecovery.”

Peter is convinced about the importance of the programme, and says “It’s about good product stewardship for all and, as a responsible company, the Agrecovery scheme is a really good solution for us and our customers.”

David Kirk

Advanced Agriculture
Gore

David Kean

Farmers Dipping Co
Winton

Agrecovery is a great example of an industry taking responsibility for products they make and sell when they’ve reach their ‘end of life’. Not only do 65 manufacturers and distributors of agchems, dairy hygiene and animal health products fund free recycling, but many retailers and contractors steward the products they sell or use by hosting container collection sites.

Advance Agriculture distributes agrichemicals in Southland and South Otago. They are one of those who believe they have an obligation to take back empty agchem containers. They’ve hosted a collection site since 2008 when Agrecovery was a new concept in NZ.

Gore Branch Manager David Kirk says “Our business is big on supporting Agrecovery because it is the only viable means of disposing of agrichemical containers properly.”

Company administrator Janine is also sold on the programme: “Agrecovery allows us to provide a process for farmers so we are not just selling agrichemicals and forgetting about the consequences on the environment,” says Janine.

“It’s a full circle – purchase, use, rinse and return.”

David Kirk Advanced Agriculture

David Kirk Advanced Agriculture

David Kean Farmers Dipping Co Winton

David Kean Farmers Dipping Co Winton

Farmers Dipping Co. is a contracting company in Winton. Owner David Kean is also an early adopter of Agrecovery. He was inspired after attending industry conferences and by the ever-growing heap of containers in his yard. “Having somewhere to get rid of them in an environmentally-friendly way is awesome. We help tidy up a lot of farmers’ yards too.” he says.

A wide variety of operators use the Agrecovery service. Rural contractors, helicopter crews and farmers all make up the mix.

“It’s a brilliant system.” says David Kean. “Once you get into a system of buying the chemical, applying it to the paddock and then triple-rinsing the container, the job’s done. It’s free to recycle and it’s really easy.”

Farmers Dipping Co have staff out on the road who are actively promoting Agrecovery to farmers. With burying and burning no longer acceptable, Agrecovery offers an easy solution.

Rick Coplestone

Central Spraying Services
Stratford

Calvin Wilson

Smart Harvest
Seddon

For several years rural ground spray contractor Rick Coplestone of Stratford had no suitable place to dispose of the used chemical drums which are part of his everyday operations.

Back in 2010 when he heard about the Agrecovery programme it seemed like a perfect solution. “I have a yard right next to the Regional Council, so I asked them if I could put a recycling container in it” says Rick. He thought that would be the best way to go, because the Agrecovery team collect and recycle the drums, and it meant he was doing the right thing.

Rick’s team at Central Spraying Services Ltd picks up empty drums from farms when they are doing spray work. “We just throw theirs on board too and put them into our container. It’s easy!” says Rick. Other agricultural contractors in the area also drop their drums off at his yard.

Rick Coplestone Central Spraying Services

Rick uses lots of drums and doesn’t think it’s right to get rid of them any other way.

“Digging a big hole and burying or burning them is not environmentally viable, especially when Agrecovery offer such an easy option.”

Rick says he’s not a ‘greenie’, but thinks that if you are going to use something then you’ve got to take responsibility for it.

Farmers in the area are slowly coming on board, bringing containers into the yard themselves.

“Once a farmer starts recycling,” says Rick, “they think ‘this is a really good idea’.”

“I find it easy to recycle, and I’m happy to make it easier for others.”

Calvin Wilson - Smart Harvest ii

Smart Harvest specialises in viticulture machinery maintenance, and are often dealing with chemical sprays on a daily basis throughout spring and summer.

Calvin has worked in the industry for 12 years and says that some vineyards do have chemical containers everywhere. “With Agrecovery we now give them an avenue to get rid of them cleanly, efficiently and responsibly.”

Feedback from people dropping containers in has been that it is great to have Agrecovery out in the Awatere region.

As an engineer, Calvin likes to multi-task and to make things more efficient, while trying to be as sustainable as possible. He considers making sure that vineyards can get rid of their chemical containers responsibly is part of that philosophy, and having an easy recycling option really helps.

Smart Harvest are not paid to provide the service, but are very happy to have the Agrecovery container on site. Vineyard staff simply bring a trailer- or ute-load of containers to the Smart Harvest yard and they’ll get help to unload them and are given a recycling receipt for their Sustainable Winegrowing certification.
“I think Agrecovery is a really important service.” says Calvin.

“Sustainability for future generations is key really, and we’ve all got to do our part. The wine industry has helped me to achieve a lot of goals and I’d like to make sure it is still strong and thriving for my kids.

“Simple things like recycling a container is not difficult, you’ve just got to make sure it’s convenient, which it is now, and it’ll get done.”

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