Partnerships Pay Off
A recycling program started by the Carroll County Farm Bureau is turning farm plastic into sidewalks and keeping tons of plastic out of landfills.
The program is a joint venture of the Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas county Farm Bureaus and the Joint Solid Waste District of Carroll, Columbiana and Harrison counties. All of the counties have designated drop off and collection points for farm plastics such as bale wrap, silage wrappers, baler twine, bunker covers and fertilizer sacks.
Working with the joint solid waste district, they found a California-based company, Terrecon, that turns recycled agricultural plastics into sidewalk block material. Terrecon provides the huge bags that hold the ag plastics and pays for transportation of the sacks to its plants, making it a zero cost program for farmers and Farm Bureau. The joint solid waste district obtained a $37,000 grant for promotion and expansion of the program. The project was featured on the front page of two newspapers and was on display at fairs in Carroll, Columbiana and Tuscarawas counties.
The program accepts both all white and mixed color plastic but they have to be kept separate. The drop-off points are at businesses that can accommodate the bags, which can hold up to 400 pounds. Empty bag pick up locations include county Farm Bureau and Solid and Water Conservation District offices, equipment dealerships, co-ops and local businesses. One location has started allowing individual feed sacks to be dropped off at its drive-thru. Officials in Wayne and Stark counties have expressed interest in starting a similar program.
“We have heard that other counties are taking notice and perhaps will get involved. It works best if their solid waste district gets involved with those county Farm Bureaus. We are thankful to those businesses which have volunteered to be involved. They too have recognized the need for this program and have stepped forward with their time commitment and labor.” ~ Ken Grigsby, Carroll County Farm Bureau member and project leader
Learn more about this and other programs happening in your county.