The Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group (APRG) through Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) are moving ahead with their three-year pilot to collect plastic twine and grain bags from Alberta farmers. The program is being run by CleanFarms, a Canadian non-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural packaging and product waste.
Funding for the program is coming from the Alberta government and the administered by the Alberta Beef Producers are responsible for administering it.
Under the pilot program, farmers can drop off plastic at 20 collection sites around the province. Details on collection sites are online at the Collection Sites page at cleanfarms.ca.
Cleanfarms, who is responsible for running the Alberta pilot program, also runs grain bag recycling programs in Saskatchewan, and empty container recycling in Manitoba and Quebec.
Grain bags and twine represent 50% of all plastics generated on-farm in Alberta. The other 50% of plastics not included in the pilot collection are bale wrap and silage plastic, netting, supersacks, greenhouse film and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers.
Currently, there are two facilities in North America recycling grain bags; one in Canada and one in the USA. Current markets are washing and pelletizing grain bags for use in other blow-molding applications. More infrastructure is currently being built in Western Canada.
With respect to twine recycling, there are two recycling facilities in the United States. One recycler is washing and pelletizing for re-manufacture and the other is cleaning and shredding for use in the roofing industry.