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Cleanfarms celebrates 4 years of agriculture recycling programs


Agriculture recycling has increased and expanded across Saskatchewan, as Cleanfarms celebrates four years of its grain bag collection program.

Recycling collection sites are set up at 47 municipal landfills across the province, giving producers a place to take their used grain bags.

“It eliminates the need for landfills for these products,” Barry Friesen, executive director for Cleanfarms, said.

According to the company, the agriculture industry in Saskatchewan accumulates about 4,000 tonnes of plastic grain bags per year.

In 2018, Cleanfarms shipped about 8,500 tonnes of grain bag plastic for recycling, with 60 per cent of grain bags sold in Saskatchewan in 2020 being returned for recycling.

“In the future we will see what we call a circular economy,” Friesen said. “They will make these bags right back into new agriculture products. In fact it may even go into new grain bags in the future.”

With the success of the grain bag collection program, Cleanfarms started more pilot programs to collect other recyclable material like twine.

“A lot of this material is kind of a problem for landfills. It gets caught up in wheels, tires and agriculture equipment,” Tammy Shields, Cleanfarms western coordinator, said.

According to Shields, twine can be recycled into many different products. It’s made of 100 per cent polypropylene, which can be used in car parts, roofing materials, as well as for twine.

She said adding this program opens the door for more types of farming operations to the world of recycling.

“Where grain bags are, isn’t necessarily where the twine is,” Shields added. “The ranchers don’t necessarily overlap with the grain bags.”

Shields said the company has also just signed a partnership agreement with the Dairy Farmers of Canada to start a pilot program for recycling silage tarps and bail wrap, which is expected to begin in the near future.

A list of collection locations and current recyclable materials is available online. Top Stories

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