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Plastic agricultural waste recycling now available to Manitoba farmers

October 5, 2012, Portage la Prairie, MB - Manitoba farmers will have more environmentally friendly options to dispose of some of their plastic waste, thanks to a free pilot project.

Grain bags, bale and silage wrap and twine will be collected in Pierson, Neepawa and Portage La Prairie to help the province determine if more of the waste generated on farms can be diverted from landfills.

"Farmers want to responsibly dispose of their waste, and we want to help them do this," says Ferdi van Dongen, chief executive officer of Portage & District Recycling Inc., who will be providing on the ground support for this project.

"This pilot project will help lay the groundwork for a comprehensive program to responsibly manage plastic agricultural waste in the province," says Barry Friesen, general manager of CleanFARMS, a national, industry-led stewardship organization that is leading this project.

Farmers can return their unwanted bale and silage cover, silage bags, twine and grain bags. All materials must be clean, dry and separated. Agricultural film and twine will only be accepted in collection bags that are available free of charge at local Federated Cooperatives Limited locations and participating landfills.

Grain bags must be rolled into bundles no bigger than 48 inches in diameter. Unbagged, loose or heavily contaminated materials will not be accepted.

Collections will take place at the following locations:

Portage la Prairie Landfill - PR 227, 6 miles east of Oakland
Evergreen Technologies Regional Landfill - PR 466, three and a half miles south of Hwy 16 (west of Neepawa)
RM of Edward - Highway #256, one mile south of Highway #3 (Pierson)
According to recent research conducted by CleanFARMS, farmers in Manitoba generate more than 6,000 tonnes of non-nutrient based waste on their farms each year. There are stewardship programs in place for some agricultural waste products, but there are many products, such as the ones covered by this project, for which there are no recycling options.

"The government of Manitoba is pleased to partner with CleanFARMS to help divert agricultural plastics through recycling programs and keep these materials out of Manitoba's rural landfills," says Christina McDonald, chief executive officer of Green Manitoba.

Funding for the pilot program is being provided by Green Manitoba, the agency of the Manitoba Government that delivers programs and services on behalf of government departments and other clients with a focus on waste reduction.