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Cleanfarms Launches Pilot Project to Recycle Used Farm Plastics in B.C.’s Regional District of Fraser-Fort George

·3 min read

Silage bale wrap

Silage bale wrap used to store livestock feed will be part of a Cleanfarms pilot program to collect agricultural plastics for recycling in the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George. – Cleanfarms photo
Silage bale wrap used to store livestock feed will be part of a Cleanfarms pilot program to collect agricultural plastics for recycling in the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George. – Cleanfarms photo
Silage bale wrap used to store livestock feed will be part of a Cleanfarms pilot program to collect agricultural plastics for recycling in the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George. – Cleanfarms photo

MCBRIDE, British Columbia, Aug. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Farmers in the McBride area of British Columbia’s Regional District of Fraser-Fort George (RDFFG) who use twine, bale wrap, silage bags and bunker covers will be able to recycle these used plastic materials as part of a new pilot recycling project set to officially launch soon.

Plastic materials like baler twine and bale wrap are common agricultural tools but when farmers are finished with them, disposal can be a challenge. Usually, the used materials are either landfilled or stored on farms.

The three-year recycling pilot is being operated by Cleanfarms in partnership with the RDFFG at no cost to participating farmers.

“We estimate farmers in the RDFFG generate about 460 tonnes of these agricultural plastics annually,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen. “This pilot will help local farmers to move those used materials off their farm properties when they are no longer wanted. Recycling used farm plastics helps keep farms clean and tidy and contributes to sustainable use of natural resources in Canada’s emerging circular economy.”

“The RDFFG has recognized agricultural plastics as an ongoing challenge in our solid waste system. We are eager to join Cleanfarms in this pilot recycling effort. It is our goal to see an extended producer responsibility (EPR) stewardship program for agriculture plastics in BC and this pilot is a good first step,” says Lara Beckett, Vice Chair of the RDFFG.

Local farmers are encouraged to participate in the pilot by picking up large Cleanfarms collection bags at the McBride Transfer Station for each type of material they plan to recycle, and return them when full. Cleanfarms’ contractors will pick up the materials and transport them to recycling facilities in Canada and the USA where they will be processed for reuse in new products such as car parts and plastic bags.

The Cleanfarms recycling project in the RDFFG is one of three recycling projects taking place in British Columbia. The others are in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and the Peace River Regional District. Each pilot is slightly different depending on the most prominent types of local farming. Cleanfarms’ overall goal is to expand pilots into permanent programs across the country to achieve zero ag plastic waste to landfill.

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

This pilot is funded in part by the Regional District of Fraser Fort-George and the Government of Canada, through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agriculture Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP). The federal government is investing $50.3 million over five years in a number of projects to help the agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive.

Learn more at Cleanfarms.ca/building-a-zero-plastic-waste-strategy-for-agriculture/

Contact: Barbara McConnell, Cleanfarms Media, 416-452-2373, bmcconnell@cleanfarms.ca

Materials included in the pilot

Materials accepted include twine, bale wrap, silage bags and bunker covers.
Materials not accepted are feed or seed bags, net wrap, nylon rope and sisal twine.

Cleanfarms is an agricultural industry stewardship organization that contributes to a healthier environment and a sustainable future by recovering and recycling agricultural and related industry plastics, packaging and products. It operates permanent programs throughout the country to collect and recycle pesticide and fertilizer containers, seed and pesticide bags in eastern Canada, and grain bags in the Prairies and also collects unwanted pesticides and old, obsolete livestock/equine medications for safe disposal in a program that rotates into regions of Canada every three years.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/31d94d4d-2525-4ae9-b6c3-4131f1e11b8d