The arrival of July means the return of Rocky View County’s (RVC) popular Agricultural Round-up program.
Held on Wednesdays throughout the summer months, Ag Round-up days offer farmers and agricultural producers locations across the county to dispose their hard-to-recycle agricultural materials for free, including wire, twine, used oil or pesticide containers or certain plastics.
“We want to bring the recycling program closer to where the materials are produced,” said Jennifer Koole, RVC’s lead waste advisor, who is responsible for running the annual program. “Secondly, we want to prevent improper disposal of these materials, and hopefully avoid landfills, [items] being burned or other options people use for disposal.”
This year’s program kicked off July 14 in Madden. For the remainder of the summer, the one-day collection events will be held each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at various locations around RVC.
The next collection date will be offered July 21 at the Weedon Pioneer Hall north of Cochrane. Locations after that include the Viterra north of Crossfield on July 28, the Westlife Community Church in Springbank on Aug. 4, the Delacour Community Hall on Aug. 11, the Bottrel General Store on Aug. 18 and the Balzac Fire Station on Aug. 25. For specific addresses, visit bit.ly/3kk5SVy
According to Koole, the popularity of RVC’s Ag Round-up Days has increased year to year. In 2020, the collection dates saw 362 total visits, compared to 333 visits in 2019 and 255 in 2015.
“Last year, we had our highest number of attendees to date, which was a bit of a surprise due to COVID,” she said. “We’ve seen the attendance increase gradually over the years. We usually have between 30 and 70 residents attend [each event], depending on the dates, weather and location.”
Typically, the most popular materials recycled through the program include wire and old tires. An RVC report on the 2020 round-up program indicated 16.15 tons of wire were disposed of last year, as well as 15.4 tons of tires.
Other than tires and wire, items that are accepted under the program include oil, pesticide containers, household hazardous waste, paint, plastic twine, grain bags over 50 bushels and livestock lick tubs.
Unaccepted materials include mesh wrap, bale wrap, feed, seed or fertilizer bags, wood, garbage, scrap metal, organics or appliances. According to RVC, these materials will be refused, and staff will ask for items to be taken to one of RVC's year-round transfer sites instead. The transfer sites are located in Bragg Creek, Langdon, Irricana and Airdrie, and are open Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Koole said one positive expansion of RVC's Ag Round-up program this year is the increased type of electronics the County can accept.
“Before it was pretty restricted, but now, almost anything with a cord is accepted in our electronics recycling program,” she said.
She added if a producer has a large quantity of any particular materials they wish to recycle, to contact the County beforehand by calling 403-230-1401 so staff can be aware of the incoming items, or make arrangements to ensure there is enough space.
While COVID-related protocols are not in place this year, Koole said RVC is still requesting producers respect social distancing when coming to the sites.
For more information on this year's Ag Round-up days, visit bit.ly/3kk5SVy