Canadian Manufacturing

Cleanfarms Pilot gives farmers access to free recycling for used Ag plastics

The collection sites are located at the Fort St. James, Smithers/Telkwa, Southside, Burns Lake, Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake Transfer Stations, and at the Knockholt Landfill.

June 18, 2021  by CM Staff

Bale of Haystack on a sunny day (Cleanfarms)

MOOSE JAW — Farmers in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) will be able to recycle used agricultural plastic materials such as baler twine and bale wrap at no charge in a new Cleanfarms pilot project launching next week.

The Cleanfarms pilot, operated in partnership with the RDBN, enables farmers to collect used plastic baler twine, bale wrap, silage bags and bunker covers once they are finished with them on the farm and to take them to one of seven collection sites located throughout the district for recycling.

Cleanfarms will pick up the material from the collection sites and transport it to recycling facilities in Canada and the USA where it will be processed for reuse in new products such as car parts and plastic bags.

“We estimate farmers in Bulkley-Nechako generate about 215 tonnes of these types of used agricultural plastics annually,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen. “We’re excited that through this pilot, farmers will be able to manage these used materials in a way that is both environmentally responsible and helps them keep their farms clean and free of waste ag plastic materials.”

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Until now, farmers either landfilled these materials or stored them on the farm. This pilot gives them options for seeing materials recycled when they no longer have a need for them.

“Every silage bag, bale wrap and bunker cover, and every kilometer of baler twine requires natural resources and energy to manufacturer. By recycling, we ensure that we use the materials to their full extent, which fuels a circular economy for agricultural products in Canada,” Friesen said.

The collection sites are located at the Fort St. James, Smithers/Telkwa, Southside, Burns Lake, Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake Transfer Stations, and at the Knockholt Landfill.

To recycle the ag plastic materials, farmers can pick up large collection bags free of charge at any of the collection sites. As much as possible, each material type, e.g., twine, bale wrap and silage bags/bunker covers, should be placed into separate bags to keep the various types of plastic separated. Larger pieces can be bundled and secured with twine, then the full bags and bundles can be dropped off at the designated collection sites free of charge.

BC joins Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island in collecting baler twine in this series of pilots to expand collection of used ag plastics from farms for recycling.