Agricultural round-up days are returning to Rocky View County (RVC) this summer and fall, offering local farmers and producers the opportunity to discard hard-to-handle recyclable materials for free.
Each year, as part of RVC’s Solid Waste Master Plan, the County hosts nine agricultural round-up events throughout the municipality. The program begins June 26 and will run each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at various locations until Sept. 25, with the exception of Sept. 18.
According to Lead Solid Waste and Recycling Advisor Jennifer Koole, the County will be “cracking down on contamination” this year – products not on RVC’s list of accepted materials will be refused.
“With all the changes in the recycling markets, we have to be more and more particular about the materials we can take,” she said. “We need people who are using our sites to make sure their material is free from debris, organic matter, dirt, mud or manure.”
Accepted materials include oil, pesticide containers, unused herbicides, wire, old electronics, household hazardous waste, tires with or without rims, paint, plastic twine and livestock lick tubs.
Materials that are not allowed include mesh wrap, netting, feed, fertilizer, wood, garbage, scrap metal, household appliances and organics.
“In past years, we had been accepting bags of twine that had mesh wrap and netting mixed in, but this year, we need bags of twine to be pure twine,” Koole said. “If it looks like there is too much hay stuck to the materials, we’ll also be refusing it.”
The program has grown in popularity since its inception in 2009, according to Koole. A report from 2018 indicated 350 people brought materials to the sites last year, including 43 tons of agricultural plastic, 18.85 tons of used tires, 19 tons of wiring and 3.25 tons of pesticide containers, which Koole said would otherwise have ended up in the landfill.
“One [reason for the increased popularity] is that the word is getting out,” she said. “Two, that people are more conscious of their environmental options and choices, and three, these materials are being used more and more on farms.
“We’re finding a bigger need.”
While the round-up events are only held during the summer and fall, Koole said, RVC has four transfer sites where residents can bring recyclable material year-round. These sites are located in Bragg Creek, Langdon, Irricana and Airdrie, she added, and are open on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
“One of the reasons we do this is to make it more convenient and to help farmers have alternative ways to get rid of this hard-to-handle material,” she said, “without burning it or burying it on their farms.”
For more information on how to package material, and to see to the dates and locations of this year’s round-up events, visit bit.ly/2RHUOAg.