Farms use many products that are packaged in or made of plastic – agrichemical containers, silage wrap, vine netting and more – which can be a nuisance as they start to accumulate.
We're often asked about the best way to dispose of common farm plastic wastes – recycling is our recommended option.
The following recycling providers deal with farm plastic wastes. They will also take your triple rinsed agrichemical containers, bale net, pit covers and feed bags. There is a charge for these services.
pick-up by arrangement; silage wrap can also be dropped off at the Kaitāia Resource Recovery Centre. For more information, freephone 0508 338 240 or visit www.plasback.co.nz
- Agrecovery (containers only - no silage wrap recycling)
pick-up by arrangement; drop-off points for empty, triple-rinsed chemical containers from their brand members in Kaitāia (Clean Streams), Dargaville (Farmlands), Waipapa (PGG Wrightsons) and Whangārei (Farmlands, Kamo). For more information, freephone 0800 AGRECOVERY (0800 247 326) or visit www.agrecovery.co.nz
Preparing your farm plastic waste for recycling
Chemical containers can be prepared for recycling by emptying the last of their contents into the mixing tank for use, and triple-rinsing the empty container with water. You can then put the rinse-water into your mixing tank prior to filling it – it's a hassle-free way to get rid of your rinse-water, as it simply ends up a part of the properly diluted spray.
Silage wrap needs to be relatively clean for recycling – keep it clean by removing it from the paddock to a dry area for storage. Dispose of the wrap as soon as you have enough for a pickup or drop-off.
Alternative disposal methods
The only alternative to recycling your empty chemical containers is taking them to an approved landfill – local tips can't accept them, and burning or burying them on-farm is illegal in Northland.
Burning silage wrap is a prohibited activity in Northland and could result in a fine or prosecution under the Resource Management Act.
Burying silage wrap is not recommended, as it takes a very long time to break down in a farm dump. As a general rule, no waste may be buried within 50m of a boundary with another property, or within 50m of any water body. The pit must also be capped so that runoff can't get into the buried waste and cause leachate.
If your silage wrap is dirty and can't be recycled, it can be landfilled as general refuse, through your local waste service provider. This is generally more economical than burying waste on your own land as well, when you consider the costs of labour, digging and the loss of useable land for future generations.