April 2017 Agricultural Plastic Update

Recycling of Agricultural Plastics became a reality for nearly 500 farmers and marinas in central Minnesota as of April 7, 2017. During the week of April 3-7, a total of 516 new recycling dumpsters were dispersed by the Revolution Plastics Company at no cost to the participants who had qualified for the program in what is a truly revolutionary way to manage this deluge of unwanted plastic.

The Recycling Association of Minnesota and project partners Stearns, Sherburne, Benton, Pope, Douglas, Otter Tail, Sibley, Nicollet and Le Sueur Counties are very pleased to thank Revolution Plastics and to announce that the Revolution Plastics program dramatically expanded by placing 516 of the new dumpsters with Central Minnesota farmers and a few marinas  the week of April 3-7. These join the 134 dumpsters that went out to Winona County farmers in December of 2016.

This is a huge step forward in managing these plastics in Minnesota, one which RAM and its partners have been working toward for more than three years. Without Revolution Plastics, this program with on farm pick-up would not have happened.

It was an amazing sight to see; pick-up trucks with flatbed trailers from all counties within an 80 mile radius of Sauk Centre were on the road early in the morning on Monday, April 3rd and throughout the week to make their scheduled appointment with Price Murphy, Director of Operations for Revolution Plastic who was in charge of checking out the free dumpsters for use by area farmers and marinas.

These collection bins have been placed on a route to be emptied by Revolution Plastics at no cost to the farmers.  The dumpsters are expected to collect on average, 2,000 pounds of plastic each per year.  This will mean that within the next year, at least 1,032,000 pounds of Ag plastic and boat wrap will now be recycled rather than landfilled or in some cases, possibly burned or buried on site.

According to Price Murphy, Revolution Plastics had 2200 dumpsters on farms as of January 2017 in WI, IL, IA and now MN. That number increased to 2,650 as of the Central Minnesota dumpster dispersal.   The Minnesota collections started in Winona County in December of 2016 with 134 dumpsters, with an additional 50 put in place in that area in April, contributing to the current aggregate of 1 million pounds of plastic per month being recycled in Wisconsin and the Winona County area.

Murphy further stated that “In 2015, Revolution Plastics recycled its 1 billionth pound of agricultural plastic through its programs.”

Farmers coming to the dispersal sites at mid-point on the days of the events, often remarked about the number of trucks and flatbeds loaded with the white Revolution dumpsters they passed on the roads throughout the area. Before the week was out, over 500 of the dumpsters were on farms collecting agricultural film plastics, commonly known as Ag wrap, bunker covers, silage bags and bale wrap on the farm sites. Several boat dealerships and marinas also received dumpsters for use at their businesses for recycling the blue and white plastic which they have now begun to remove from the boats they have in storage.

Revolution Plastics, the Recycling Association of Minnesota and the consortium of Minnesota counties and partners including Minnesota Milk, Land O’ Lakes, First District Milk Association, the MPCA and others, continue to urge farmers to sign up now to be considered for receiving a free dumpster at their farm.

Call (844) 490-7873 or email:  collections@revolutionplastics.com

For additional information on the Minnesota project call: Brita Sailer (651)641-4560 brita@recycleminnesota.org