Canada’s leading agricultural stewardship organization, CleanFARMS, has been awarded a gold program operator award at the annual Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) Waste Minimization Awards.
RCO Award winners were announced during Waste Reduction Week in Canada (Oct. 20 - 27, 2013) and presented at the RCO Annual Gala event at Exhibition Place in Toronto.
CleanFARMS has gained a strong reputation for the collection of used pesticide containers.
The gold program operator award recognizes outstanding performance from waste diversion program operators, recyclers and processors involved in residential or Industrial, Commercial & Institutional (IC&I) collection and/or processing.
“We are honoured to be recognized by our recycling peers in Ontario,” Barry Friesen, general manager of CleanFARMS, said in a statement to media. “Good stewardship only happens when the entire value chain is engaged, so we share this recognition with Ontario's farmers and the many other groups who support our efforts.”
This isn't the first time the plant science industry received top marks for its stewardship initiatives. Earlier this year, CleanFARMS was awarded the 2012 Ontario Minister's Award for Environmental Excellence.
“Environmental sustainability, which includes waste diversion, is a top priority for Ontario farmers,” says Mark Wales, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “It is especially nice to see that our efforts are being recognized by those outside of the farming community.”
Waste diversion is a longstanding industry commitment for Ontario's agricultural sector. The empty pesticide container program, now one of Canada's longest running voluntary stewardship programs, was launched in 1989. The industry's commitment to end of life management of its products grew with the creation of the obsolete pesticide collection program and empty pesticide bag program in 1998 and 2006 respectively.
In recent years, CleanFARMS has broadened its focus by piloting collection programs for plastic pots, trays, and seed and pesticide bags.
For more information on CleanFARMS' work in Ontario, please visit www.cleanfarms.ca.