PEI

Pilot project launched to recycle baler twine from farms

It has been going to landfill, but P.E.I.’s Island Waste Management Corporation has begun a project it hopes will see baler twine recycled into items such as flower pots, plastic lumber and even car parts.

Projects already underway in Alberta and Saskatchewan

Farmers need to make sure they are not mixing other string or rope with the baler twine. (IWMC)

It has been going to landfill, but P.E.I.'s Island Waste Management Corporation has begun a project it hopes will see baler twine recycled into items such as flower pots, plastic lumber and even car parts.

Orange plastic baler twine is ubiquitous on farms, used mostly for keeping hay bales together. IWMC has started the recycling project in collaboration with CleanFarms.

"We thought anything that can be done to help get twine out of the landfill would be great," said IWMC disposal manager Heather Myers.

"Markets are always a challenge, but CleanFarms are always working towards trying to get markets for as many agricultural products as possible."

There are existing markets, said Myers. The question is whether IWMC can access those markets and recover the cost of collecting the twine at their end.

The baler twine project is complementary with IWMC's existing silage wrap recycling, says Heather Myers. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

This is not IWMC's first project with CleanFarms.

"We have a silage wrap recycling program on P.E.I. right now and we do that in collaboration with CleanFarms," said Myers.

"CleanFarms are a non-profit stewardship organization and they work to help farmers keep recyclable materials out of the landfills."

CleanFarms is also collaborating on twine recycling projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Bags for twine provided

Farmers are already showing interest in the program, Myers said.

IWMC is providing bags to collect the twine. Farmers need to ensure only baler twine goes in them, with no other kinds of string or rope. Full bags can be taken to any WasteWatch drop-off site.

Smaller farms can collect baler twine in any bag or box, said Myers, for consolidation at the WasteWatch site.

The twine program, if successful, would be complementary to the existing silage wrap program, said Myers.

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