Minnesota county introduces program to recycle plastic film

Minnesota county introduces program to recycle plastic film

Program collects agricultural and horticultural plastic film and boat wrap.

January 3, 2017
Recycling Today Staff
Municipal Recycling

Revolution Plastics, based in Arkansas, began dumpster dispersal Dec. 20, 2016, in Minnesota for a new recycling program designed to collect, at no cost to farmers, certain types of used agricultural plastic film used to protect and store silage, haylage and other livestock feeds. The program also allows for the collection of boat wrap and horticultural plastic film.

A group of central Minnesota counties, the Recycling Association of Minnesota and their partners say they have been working with companies like Revolution Plastics to bring sustainable, economical solutions to manage the disposal of these materials to farmers across Minnesota.

Starting at 7:45 a.m. Dec. 21 and continuing until 2 p.m., farmers lined up with their trucks and flatbeds to pick up the 134 white dumpsters that Revolution Plastics and Winona County had staged at an old landfill site in the county.

According to organizers, Winona County Sustainability Coordinator Anne Morse and Price Murphy, the Revolution Plastics project manager, things were a little chaotic for the first hour or so before settling into a steady rhythm of dispersal, with famers checking in, signing the use agreement and collecting their dumpsters. Revolution Plastics had specialized equipment on-site with which to load the 134 dumpsters onto the waiting farm vehicles and trailers.

“Having worked on getting ag plastic recycling to happen in our county for nearly 15 years, I could not be happier to see this program starting today! Revolution Plastics and Price Murphy did a great job,” says Morse.

“The Winona County event was a great success, with about 30-40 more dumpsters going out to begin service on farms in a single day than at any other of our dispersal events in other states,” Murphy says. “Furthermore, the vast majority of them were placed within Winona County alone. Anne and her farmers did a tremendous job of getting the farmers in Winona County signed up ahead of time”

The dumpster dispersal was part of the larger Recycling and Sustainable Management of Agricultural/Marine Plastics Project underway in Minnesota, led by the Recycling Association of Minnesota and a group of central Minnesota counties: Tri-County Solid Waste Administration, serving Stearns, Benton and Sherburne counties, and Pope-Douglas Solid Waste Management, Otter Tail County Solid Waste and Tri-County Solid Waste, serving Nicollet, Le Sueur and Sibley Counties with the assistance of a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Other major partners include Winona County, McLeod County, Minnesota Milk Producers and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Additional collection programs are in planning stages now, with the second dumpster dispersal planned for February based out of the Sauk Centre area.

More information is available from Brita Sailer of Recycling Association of Minnesota at brita@recycleminnesota.org or at 651-641-4560.