Most arable farmers intend to continue using a drum incinerator to burn their pesticide containers until the derogation given by the Environment Agency lapses next May.

Eighty-five per cent of the farmers questioned at Cereals 2006 told Farmers Weekly they would continue to burn until May 2007, while just 10% said they would use a container collection scheme before then.

But once the derogation lapsed, collection schemes would be the most popular option (60%) to dispose of containers.

The second favourite option would be to use an approved waste contractor, such as Cleanaways, or to take it to a landfill site.

Paul Towns, who operates a collection scheme hub for Solway Recycling in the East Midlands, was not surprised most arable farmers would continue to use incinerators for the time being.

“For the big arable farmer, who has only spray cans, there is no incentive to rush into a collection scheme today.”

Growers were split over who should pay for container disposal, but just under half believed manufacturers had a responsibility. Others wanted state funding.

Many felt manufacturers could and should do more to reduce pesticide container waste in the first place.

For more on Cereals 2006, see Arable, starting page 45.

mike.abram@rbi.co.uk