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Environmental Services, Extension Office Partner to Recycle Agricultural Plastic

Nearly 20,000 pounds of plastics kept out of landfill and burn barrels

Post Date:06/03/2019 1:30 PM

CHASKA, MINN.—Thanks to a partnership between Carver County environmental services and the University of Minnesota extension office, local farmers recycled nearly 20,000 pounds of plastics earlier this spring.

On May 13 at the Mid-County Co-op in Cologne, 19,320 pounds of plastics, collected over the past several months, were hauled away for recycling. County farmers participated in this innovative recycling program, as plastics destined for landfills or burn barrels were recycled, while simultaneously reducing disposal fees.

Monica Johnson, the County’s Minnesota GreenCorps member, organized the program. "The recycling program was eagerly accepted throughout the County," she said. "In addition to saving money, the program appealed to many farmers who were looking for an eco-friendly way to get rid of their plastic."

Carver County farmers in the program were able to pick up free packs of recapture bags that served as a way to collect their plastics. Each recapture bag is designed to hold approximately 200 pounds of plastics, and farmers were responsible for filling the 8 foot by 10 foot bags with silage and grain agricultural plastics. The recycling program is also available to marinas and greenhouses, several of which participated in the May collection. Acceptable items included boat film, stretch wrap, and greenhouse covers. Hockey rink liners were additionally accepted.

Johnson also mentioned that Carver County is planning on offering another collection in October 2019. She is encouraging farmers, marinas, and greenhouses to visit the Carver County Extension Office, located at the County’s Public Works building off Highway 212 in Cologne, to pick up a starter pack and capture plastics for the October collection. The County is hoping this initial success will spread the news of the program and hopes to recycle close to 40,000 pounds of plastic in a spring 2020 collection event.

Revolution Plastics, the company whose truck picked up the plastics in mid-May, is a nationwide business specializing in recycling agricultural, marine, and greenhouse plastics. Carver County’s collected plastics were delivered to Revolution’s recycling plant in Arkansas where they will be recycled into can liners and architectural films. To participate in the program or to learn more, please contact Johnson at mrjohnson@co.carver.mn.us or the Environmental Services Department at (952) 361-1800.

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