AGSAFE's drumMUSTER program collected its 35 millionth agvet chemical container on Friday, March 6, 2020, in the town of Renmark, South Australia.
The milestone container was delivered to the Renmark Refuse Depot, which holds a regular collection of agvet containers each month.
The Renmark Paringa region is one of Australia's major horticulture regions with fruit growing, farming and tree nurseries, being the main industries.
There are an estimated 3000 growers in the region, accounting for about 30 per cent of the local population.
The council has been a part of Agsafe's stewardship program since 2000 and has collected and recycled more than 163,000 drums in this period.
This is testament to the local farmers, viticulturalists and growers' commitment to the environment, as well as the local council's vision for providing a responsible pathway for empty containers.
"With our vast horticultural area, the importance of recycling chemical drums is essential," said Renmark Paringa District Council Waste Transfer Station operator Steve Atkinson.
"Recent times have seen growers, large and small, see the value of the program and are utilising it to their full potential.
"Our rejection rates are very minimal each month, with on average 900 drums recycled each month or 10,000 annually over 11 months."
"The program continues to provide a responsible disposal and recycling option for all agvet chemical users," said drumMUSTER's national program manager Allan McGann.
"The improvement in returns at the Renmark Paringa District Council region demonstrates the increased need for farmers and other users to meet their quality assurance and best management practice program requirements".
It is not only councils that hold collections for the drumMUSTER program.
Various community groups around Australia participate in the program by conducting their own collections which help raise much needed funds for their local communities.
The drumMUSTER program has been operating since 1999 and has recycled more than 40,000 tonnes of agricultural plastic waste, which otherwise would have been put into landfill, buried or burned on farms.
"drumMUSTER is an industry led stewardship program where the manufacturers of the chemicals (not the containers) voluntarily sign up to the levy program, making this a free recycling service for eligible products,"said Agsafe's general manager Dominique Doyle.
"What an outstanding result to reach 35 million containers, congratulations to Renmark Paringa Council."