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Clark County UW-Extension Office Holding Ag Plastics Recycling Event Tuesday, December 10th
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 -- 1:43 pm
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

-The Clark County UW-Extension Office is offering farmers a chance to remove unwanted and unused ag plastics off their farms.

Next Tuesday, December 10th, the Extension Office will be holding an Ag Plastics Recycling event. Melissa Kono, CNRED Agent for Clark County, explained the event in more detail.

“On that day, we’re going to be accepting all types of plastic that are used in agricultural practices. So, bunker covers, bail wrap we’ll take, grain bags, drip tape, any greenhouse film that people might have. We’ll be collecting those items at the Clark County Fairgrounds from 10am-Noon. We’re asking people to drop off those types of plastics. We won’t accept any netting, or twine, or plastics like that. But just the type of plastics that people use for haying and grain storage, that’s fine. There is no cost for this. We do ask that people be able to unload what they bring on their own. However, if people would like, I have some, they’re called recapture bags, and it might be easier for people to pack those on the farm and use their own equipment as we won’t have any equipment available that day.”

“So, it’s just a chance for people to get the farm cleaned up before, hopefully, too much snow falls and all that plastic is frozen to the ground. It provides an alternative to burning the plastics. This plastic will then be taken to Madison for processing and then it is recycled into other products, usually garbage can liners for universities and hospitals or it can also be remade into irrigation tape, so it will get another use. All of the plastic is processed and recycled here in the U.S. It’s not shipped to another country or sold or anything like that. It’s remade into other products by a U.S. based company called Revolution Plastics. So, they will be picking the plastic up. We do ask that people only bring plastic on that day during those times. Please, don’t come the weekend before and dump you garbage in the fairgrounds or I’ll be in a lot of trouble because they’re nice enough to let us use that facility. So, we will be collecting plastics for recycling and it just gives farmers a chance to get that out of the way before it gets colder.”

This event is open to anyone.

“We’re collecting plastics from anyone that can hear this. You’re welcome to bring it. You don’t have to be a resident of Clark County or a farm based in Clark County. We’re happy to be taking just those specific types of plastics on that day just to help people get it cleaned out and not have to pay for it to be disposed of in a dumpster. Or to burn it, which is technically illegal and not good for the environment. So, this gives people the chance to get rid of it and do the right thing with it.

Recently, some farmers in Clark County were able to get an ag plastics dumpster to use for their farms. Melissa said if you have that dumpster, you can still come to this event, but she found that this event is more for small farms that don’t use as much of the plastic as a larger farm that may have the dumpster.

“Yeah, they’re welcome to do that. Dumpsters are provided to farms that have a high volume of plastic. And what I’ve found in doing these events is that there are smaller farms that use bail wrap, for example, and they just have plastic they’ve accumulated over a couple years, where they don’t have the high volume of plastic that they would have a plastics recycling dumpster. Those dumpsters are great, but they are for bigger farms that utilize a lot of plastics. So, a lot of times, the smaller farms only use just a little bit of plastics in their practices, gives them the chance to get rid of it, where they wouldn’t have a regularly scheduled plastics pick up.”

“If people want a recapture bag, they are available for free at our office. So, people can come by and pick those up. If people think they can fill 5 recapture bags, and the recapture bags are basically a giant garbage bag, they hold about 200 pounds of plastic. If people think they can fill 5 of those, they might be better off buying a case of those recapture bags, it’s $30 for a case of them, there’s 5 bags in there and then Revolution will come and pick the plastic up at their farm. But if somebody can only fill a bag or two, I’m happy to give them a bag and have them pack it at the farm and then bring it to the fairgrounds that day. They don’t have to have a full bag that day. It just makes it a little easier when they can use their own equipment and go from place to place on the farm and collect the plastic.”

“Most farmers I know, though, have a spot where they’re accumulating plastic. They have a plastic pile. We do ask that you shake the dirt off of it. Leave your soil on your farm. That’s the lucrative part of your farm. So, shake it out a little bit. It’s okay if it’s a little dirty. We expect it to be dirty, it’s on a farm. But get some mud off. I have one of these events in June and I’ve never been so dirty in my life as when I unloaded plastic. I would like that people be able to unload their plastic as we won’t have any equipment there to do that. I was able to pull one of those recapture bags off of a truck and I was 7 months pregnant at the time. So, that tells you that most people can probably handle it. So, yeah it does get kind of dirty , but it is a good way for it to clean up your farm too. That plastic loves to blow around, which is why you always see it in the fields. That white and black plastic is notorious for blowing around."

Finally, Melissa ended our interview by reminding people of when and where the event it being held.

“So, the event is on Tuesday, December 10th from 10am-12pm. It will be at the Clark County Fairgrounds here in Neillsville. There is no charge for it, but it would be nice for people to call our office and register. Our number is 715-743-5121 and if someone would like a recapture bag to pack on the farm, those are available also by calling that number.

If you have any further questions, you can contact the Clark County UW-Extension Office.

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