I get a lot of calls from farmers asking, “what do I do with my used grain bags?” or “can I recycle this silage plastic?”
I have always thought if we are going to be a company that sells grain baggers and baler wrappers that use large amounts of plastic, then it’s our responsibility to find a way for farmers to dispose of it in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment. I had been talking to Delta Plastics for several years and they kept talking about pilot programs that they were doing in Wisconsin, one of the places we sell a lot of grain bags. After this trial period, I noticed that they had created a sister company called Revolution Plastics, and that they had just opened the area up further into our territory into Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. It’s called Revolution Plastics and here’s how it works:
Farmers can go online and fill out a form that simply includes their contact information, how many cows/goats they feed (if any) and what type of ag or silage plastic they use (ie. Plastic wrap on hay, grain bags). Once they submit that, they will be contacted by Revolution and make sure that they are a right fit for the program. The only reason someone might not be a good fit is if they aren’t going to acquire at least 2,000 lbs of plastic per year. Our grain bags are approximately 400lbs of plastic per bag, so essentially that would just be 5 grain bags per year. Another great thing is that farmers in a close area can share the bin and all dispose of their ag plastic to make up the 2,000 lb limit.
After determining that they are right for the program, they set up a time to bring the free of charge bin to the farm. After that they stay in contact with the farmer if they require multiple pick ups per year to dispose of their plastic. And that’s basically it! It’s pretty straight forward and a great way to recycle ag and silage plastic. Some other frequently asked questions:
What are all the types of Ag Plastic they accept? “We accept used irrigation tape and tubing and cover, fumigation, greenhouse and hoophouse films.” “We accept used bale wrap, ag/grain bags, most bunker covers and oxygen barrier film.” “We do not accept bunker cover with nylon scrim, twine, net wrap or other mixed plastics.” (https://www.revolutionplastics.com/index.php#about )
What do they do with the recycled ag plastic? They make irrigation polytubing and also trash bags. Check out this video about their sister company Delta Plastics to see the full range of what they do.
For another blog that discusses ag plastic recycling check out Recycling and Ag Plastics, it also gives some other options for people in other regions.