Green County was recently featured in a video by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board highlighting the ag plastics recycling program. The program is keeping about 125 tons of ag plastic out of landfills every week. See how recycling ag plastic is helping Wisconsin farmers and the environment on the video.
Green County has collected over 250,000 pounds of used Ag plastic over the last two years. Starting in 2016 area farmers had the opportunity to dispose of old plastic from wrapped bales, bunker covers and silo bags every Wednesday at the Green County Landfill. The landfill will be accepting agriculture plastics from Green County area farmers from 7AM – 2 PM only on Wednesdays, until May 31st, 2017. The collection is open to also allow farmers from surrounding counties to dispose of used Ag plastic. Farmers can dispose of their agriculture plastics free of charge and the plastic will be baled for recycling into other consumer plastic products. The collection process at the Green County Landfill will end on May 31st, 2017. For an alternate method to dispose of your plastic, please see the Revolution Plastics Flyer.
Even though Green County has successfully collected over 125 tons of used Ag Plastic in the past two years from area farmers and greenhouses that is only a small amount of what is used each year. It’s estimated that over 500 tons of Ag plastics for silo bags, bunker cover and bales wraps are sold annually in the area. Green County bales the used plastic into 2,000 pound bales and Revolution Plastic provides the trucking to their plant in Arkansas where it is recycled into trash can liners.
Burning the used plastic wrap is illegal and farmers can be fined for burning used plastic on their farms. Burning plastic film is difficult and also releases dioxins into the environment that are not hazardous to both humans and animals. This Ag plastic collection program provides area farmers with a free and legal method for disposing of their plastic and will also free up space in our landfills.
Only #4 plastic from silo bags, bunker covers and bale wraps will be accepted through this collection. Plastic twine, mesh bale wraps, plastic jugs and all other types of plastic containers will not be accepted through the program.
While the new technology allows for these Ag plastics to be recycled the plastic still needs to be relatively clean, meaning it cannot contain large amounts of mud, manure gravel or silage. While it is not practical to remove all the dirt from the used plastic if the plastic is not relatively clean it cannot be recycled. Farmers are asked at a minimum to shake any excess mud, gravel, dirt and feed of the plastic before storing it to bring to the collection in the fall. For more information about the Green County Ag Plastic Collection program, contact Mark Mayer, Green County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent at 608-328-9440 or firstname.lastname@example.org or to sign up for Free on-farm pick up of Ag plastic Films see the Revolution Plastics Flyer