A pesticide amnesty sponsored by Anglian Water has enabled the removal of over a tonne of unused and redundant pesticides from farms in Essex.
The pesticide amnesty, focused around Drinking Water Protected Areas feeding the Ardleigh Reservoir, was the third time this initiative has been rolled out in the Anglian Water Region. It was set up by the water company to provide a removal service for farmers for out of date or redundant chemicals, no longer required or approved for use.
This time, 23 farmers took advantage of the free scheme, working with Chemclear, specialists in waste collection and disposal, who removed over 300kg and 800 litres of pesticides.
Gary Hodgetts, Anglian Water’s catchment advisor for Essex, says: “Pesticides are a vital part of the modern farm business and we know that farmers in Essex do all they can to use and store them responsibly.
“However, there are often pesticides left over at the end of the season and sometimes these can go out of date. There are also chemicals which were bought legitimately but which have now been withdrawn from the market. These unwanted chemicals could pose a risk to water quality if they are not disposed of properly.
“Although we can remove many chemicals from raw water before we put it into supply, a far more sustainable and long-term solution is to work alongside farmers to reduce the chance of pesticides getting into the water in the first place.”