We won the 2016 Partnership of the Year award from Environmental Initiative for our agricultural/marine plastics recycling project.
The agricultural and marine plastics project serves two separate, very strong components of the business community throughout Minnesota. These entities, agricultural producers and the marine industry, utilize very similar plastic film products and face similar challenges with proper management and recycling of the material. In response to numerous statewide requests asking for better recycling and management options for agricultural plastics and boat wrap, the RAM stepped forward in 2014, in the role of primary project coordinator, identifying and working with all stakeholders to address the problem. Tri-County South, McLeod and Dakota Counties and Minnesota Department of Agriculture are major contributors in the effort.
Pilot hubs have been initiated in several separate geographical areas of the state for the purpose of setting up and testing collection points and methods; identifying and locating appropriate equipment, temporary storage models, addressing transportation issues, end markets, and educational/promotional strategies. Through this project, selected agricultural film plastics are accepted for no charge at McLeod County and by some recycling brokers. In addition, farmers in some pilot project counties can drop off plastics for recycling at no charge. This increases recycling rates and reduces improper disposal methods.