EPA estimates that there is 8,000t of toxic waste on Irish farms
Farmers have helped fund the collection of 600t of hazardous waste since 2013. Now the EPA says it's time for industry leaders to chip in
More than 600 tonnes of hazardous wastes have been removed from dark corners of farm yards, sheds and veterinary cabinets over the last three years, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The removed waste included 275t of waste engine and hydraulic oil, 158t of batteries and waste electrical equipment, 46t of pesticides, 32t of paints, and 27t of veterinary medicines.
The toxic wastes have been voluntarily contributed by an estimated 5,000 farmers at nationwide collection points organised by the EPA, Teagasc, Department of Agriculture, local authorities, farm organisations and mart owners since 2013.
At least 26t of empty contaminated containers, 15t of oil filters, 10t of biocides, aerosols, adhesives, grease cartridges, brake fluids, creosote, sealants, oily rags and two tonnes of needles and syringes have also been dropped off.
According to the EPA, an estimated 8,000t of hazardous or potentially hazardous waste is currently stored on Irish farms, along with a further 4,600t of electronic equipment and batteries.
Last Friday, the scheme launched its latest collection drive at Carnew Mart in Wicklow - nine other centres, mostly at marts, will host collection days over the next five weeks.
Jane Brogan, EPA scientific officer, has played a crucial part in rolling out the scheme which is getting busier every year.
"It provides farmers with a solution for the difficult waste that they have sitting on their farms. They willingly come, they have everything separated and identified and they contribute to the cost of running these centres," she said.