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August 27, 2010 - 5:37pm

More and more farmers are going green by recycling plastic containers

The Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District wants people to know that more farmers are being “green” by demonstrating "product stewardship" -- recycling. And that in October, there will be pick-ups scheduled for recyclable plastic containers.

Farmers all around Western New York are recycling their triple-rinsed plastic containers from agricultural crop protection products such as specialty pest control, crop oils, surfactants, micro-nutrient/fertilizer, and/or adjuvant products.

USAg Recycling, Inc., offers agricultural producers and custom applicators an environmentally “green” convenient option for disposing of their empty containers.

USAg Recycling, Inc., will be picking up agricultural plastic containers in several locations throughout New York State from Oct. 18-29. The service is free to farmers and provides an environmentally friendly alternative to burning or throwing away agricultural containers.

Last year, USAg Recycling, Inc., collected 46,000 pounds of plastic containers from New York State.

It is a member company of the national Agricultural Container Recycling Council (ACRC), which in 2008 celebrated 100 million pounds of agricultural plastic containers recycled from across the United States.

Today, ACRC averages eight to 10 million pounds collected each year. Collected containers are ground into chips and recycled as corrugated plastic drainage pipe, railroad ties, fence posts, pallets, and many other products.

That’s farmers helping to keep plastic out of the landfills.

Containers accepted are HDPE #2 plastic containers only, ranging from less than one gallon to 55 gallon barrels. Larger containers such as 250 gallon shuttle totes must be cut into 2’x2’ pieces and free of any hardware. Cutting large containers in this manner facilitates proper cleaning and inspection, reduces storage area, and allows for direct feed into the granulation machine.

To be acceptable for recycling, plastic containers must be empty, clean, uncapped and dry. To help store containers until pick-up time, bags that hold up to 50 one-gallon containers are available for free upon registration.

Exact pick-up dates at local sites will be available within the first week of October.

Please contact Elizabeth Bentley-Huber at Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District at 585-343-2362 or at <[email protected].> for more information and registration.

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