23 Jul 2014

Call for councils to enforce burn bans

7:17 am on 23 July 2014

There's been a call for local councils to follow Canterbury's lead in enforcing burning bans.

Feeding containers being put in the Agrecovery mobile processing truck.

Feeding containers being put in the Agrecovery mobile processing truck. Photo: AGRECOVERY

It comes from the rural recycling service AgRecovery, which credits a Canterbury ban on burning plastic for a surge in the collection of agri-chemical containers that would have otherwise been burned or buried on farms.

AgRecovery Foundation chair Graeme Peters said in just six months, it had more than doubled the amount of plastic it had collected in the region.

"So the farmers and the growers have listened to that, a lot more of them are bringing their plastic in for recycling through AgRecovery. So we're asking other councils to do the same as what's happened in Canterbury. To either introduce burning bans, the ones that haven't, or the ones that already have burning bans is to actually promote that ban, and enforce it."

The other major rural recycling operator, Plasback, says the Canterbury burning ban has also contributed to the big increase in the amount of plastic it's collected in the past year.

It handles mainly silage wrap and the scheme manager, Chris Hartshorne said the amount it had collected had risen by more than 40 percent to well above 100,000 tonnes for the first time.

He said the increase had been driven by three major factors which occurred this year.

"One was the Environment Canterbury report on non-natural waste on farms, we had the ECan ban on the burning of agricultural plastics from effect the 1st of January this year which had a big impact.

And of course AgRecovery withdrew from the collection of the silage film plastics."