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Pennsylvania launches ag plastic recycling pilot

Pennsylvania launches ag plastic recycling pilot

Proposals must be submitted by July 8

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Pennsylvania is looking for proposals for a new ag plastics recycling pilot program.

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced funding is available for the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Project (APRP).

APRP is a statewide pilot with focus in Adams, Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dapuhin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry counties.

Ag plastics, like silage bags, bale wraps and twines, are usually burned or disposed of in a landfill.

Finding new ways to manage this waste is important, Redding said.

"Landfilling plastics is both an expense and an environmental hazard. Recycling agricultural plastics through programs like APRP is both an environmental and economic choice,” he said in a June 6 statement. “It allows resources to be reused without cost, making it a win for farmers and the environment."

Approximately $1 million is available over five years for the initiative. The funding comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The funding will be used to help develop a sustainable means for farmers in Pennsylvania to manage ag plastic.

Proposals, which must be submitted by Friday, July 8 at 5:00 p.m., must include multiple pieces of criteria.

The Department of Agriculture will evaluate the proposals and contact grant recipients.

Other jurisdictions have ag plastic recycling programs.

In Canada, for example, Cleanfarms has ag plastics recycling programs in every province.

In 2021, Cleanfarms collected about 1,150,813 lbs. of seed, pesticide and fertilizer bags.

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