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Agricultural waste to be tackled by pilot recycling program

The Alberta Agricultural Plastics Recycling Pilot Program will run for three years

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is helping to fund the Alberta Agricultural Plastics Recycling Pilot Program.

The Alberta Beef Producers will use a $750,000 grant to coordinate a three-year pilot recycling program on behalf of the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group.

The program will recycle agricultural plastics and will be aimed at recycling grain bags and twine, researching markets for other agricultural plastics not included in the pilot program, and conducting a waste characterization study to determine agricultural plastic volumes, as well as surveying producers to get feedback and educating producers on the program and how to recycle their plastics.

“Making agriculture more efficient and environmentally sustainable is a win for everyone,” said Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier in a press release. “Not only are we tackling the longstanding problem of wasted twine and agricultural plastics, we’re working with partners to find policy solutions that really work.”

“This pilot program is shaping a move toward an environmentally sustainable future for our province,” added Carlier.

The financials, logistics and operations of recycling agricultural plastics will be determined through the pilot and could help inform a future policy solution to the issue.

“The Alberta government’s commitment to the pilot program is a welcome announcement,” said Al Kemmere, Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group chairman, in a press release. “The APRG will explore an on-the-ground-assessment of [agricultural] plastics on the provincial landscape to support the environmentally sound end use of these materials.”

In 2012 a Government of Alberta study revealed around 50 per cent of agricultural producers were burning their agricultural plastics on-farm. Sending these plastics to landfill was also a common disposal method for agricultural plastics.

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