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Alberta ag plastics recycling program extended

Alberta ag plastics recycling program extended

’Alberta Ag Plastic. Recycle It!’ will continue to operate until August 2023

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A program designed to help Alberta farmers recycle grain bags and baler twine is receiving an extension.

Alberta Ag Plastic. Recycle It!’ received $115,000 in funding from the provincial government to help it continue operations until at least August 2023.

This is in addition to the $1.9 million in support Cleanfarms, which operates the program, received from Alberta in 2019 to start the pilot.

“Farmers are dedicated stewards of our lands, and this program makes it easier for them to recycle commonly-used items like grain bags and baler twine,” Nate Horner, minister of agriculture, forestry and rural economic development, said in a statement. “We’ve been so impressed with participation in the pilot program that extending it even further was an easy decision.”

In the three years since the pilot project started, Alberta farmers have done their part to recycle ag plastics.

More than 1,700 tonnes of grain bag plastic and about 230 tonnes of baler twine has been recovered.

The volume of baler twine represents about 10 fully loaded semi-trailers.

The program started with 20 collection sites.

Stakeholders plan to use the additional funding to provide service to more communities.

“The extension will focus on increasing participation for baler twine recycling,” Barry Friesen, executive director of Cleanfarms, said in a statement. “It will enable us to investigate potential barriers to twine recycling and target education and promotion to encourage farmers to bring back more of this used material.”

Cleanfarms operates ag plastics recycling programs in all 10 provinces.

Since Cleanfarms started ag plastics recycling programs more than 30 years ago, Canadian farmers have returned more than 143.6 million empty containers for recycling.

These plastics, which include pesticide and fertilizer jugs, are then made into other products like drainage pipe and plastic bags.

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