Calgary, AB – Jan. 21, 2019 - The Department of Agriculture and Forestry has announced the government’s approval of the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group’s (APRG) pilot program to recycle grain bags and twine along with $750,000 in funding.
“Making agriculture more efficient and environmentally sustainable is a win for everyone. 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,” Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
The APRG will now work to implement the three-year pilot project and will determine the next steps forward including the hiring of a program operator to collect and recycle the materials. As it’s rolled out, the plan will also announce opportunities for municipalities to host collection sites. The pilot includes market research for all types of agricultural plastics, a waste characterization study to determine plastic volumes and materials, surveys to producers, and education about the program. It is anticipated that the pilot will start in the Fall of 2019.
“We commend the government for their leadership in this area. We are thrilled to receive news of the pilot approval and know that we are now working toward viable solutions to collect and recycle grain bags and twine across the province,” stated APRG Chair, Al Kemmere. “Our group of over 20 stakeholders has been focused on gaining traction on agriculture plastics management for two years and we’re happy to be moving ahead.”
Municipalities and producers can expect to hear more details about the program from the APRG as plans are rolled out in the coming months.
About the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group
The APRG is a group made up of over 20 stakeholder organizations from sectors across the province representing municipalities, producers, non-profits, recyclers and retailers among others. For a full list of members and more details please visit this link: http://albertaplasticsrecycling.com/resourceseducation/agricultural-plastics/
APRG Chairman and RMA President
Recycling pilot tackles agricultural waste
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is helping fund a three-year pilot program that will recycle agricultural plastics.
The Alberta Beef Producers will use the $750,000 grant to coordinate the recycling program on behalf of the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group – 20 stakeholder organizations ranging from commodity associations and rural municipalities to retailers
The Alberta Agricultural Plastics Recycling Pilot Program is aimed at:
- recycling grain bags and twine
- researching markets for other agricultural plastics not included in the pilot program
- conducting a waste characterization study to determine agricultural plastic volumes
- surveying producers to get feedback
- educating producers on the program and how to recycle their plastics
“Making agriculture more efficient and environmentally sustainable is a win for everyone. 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.” Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
The pilot will determine the financials, logistics and operations of recycling agricultural plastics that could help inform a future policy solution to the issue.
“The Alberta government's commitment to the pilot program is a welcome announcement. The APRG will explore an on-the-ground assessment of ag plastics on the provincial landscape to support the environmentally sound end use of these materials.” Al Kemmere, chairman, Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group
"We would like to thank the Alberta government for supporting the agricultural industry in our efforts to recycle our waste plastics. We are excited to start working out the details of the program and will send more information to producers as soon as possible." Assar Grinde, director, Alberta Beef Producers, and executive member, Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group
“There is strong support for this program from the agriculture sectors in Alberta. We look forward to the rollout of this much-needed initiative and appreciate the speedy response and support from the Alberta government.” Neil Gorda, director, Region Four, Alberta Barley, and executive member, Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group
A Government of Alberta study in 2012 revealed that around 50 per cent of agricultural producers were burning their agricultural plastics on-farm. Sending plastics to a landfill was also a common method of disposing of agricultural plastics.
Saskatchewan ran a pilot program from 2011 to 2017, and is now operating the first regulated recycling program in Canada for grain bags. Alberta’s pilot program includes both grain bags and twine.