Barrhead, September 4, 2019 – Multi-partner submission including the County of Barrhead, Westlock County, Woodlands County and MD of Lesser Slave River, Neeralta Manufacturing Inc. and the Westlock Regional Waste Management Commission (WRWMC) was selected as one of 20 Ag Plastics Recycling Pilot program locations in Alberta.
Processing recycled agricultural plastic is not a new concept; however, it is not yet well established in Alberta. In 2019, the Government of Alberta appointed Cleanfarms, a non-profit environmental stewardship organization to manage the Alberta Ag-Plastic Recycling Pilot Program.
As part of the site selection process, Cleanfarms issued a request for proposal to which they received more than fifty applications.
"The County of Barrhead has been exploring solutions for recycling Ag Plastics for a number of years, including the recent feasibility study on the industry in 2018. Being selected as one of the initial 20 pilot sites falls completely in line with our vision! We're proud to be one of six partners in a pilot which supports our agriculture industry and demonstrates leadership in environmental stewardship," said Reeve Drozd.
To ensure accessibility to farmers within the region, the collection site at Neeralta Manufacturing is in the north end of the County of Barrhead, which is central to the four municipalities. Neeralta is continually exploring ways to improve equipment and technology to deal with agricultural plastics.
Bryan Vanderleest expressed that "as a strong believer in environmental stewardship, Neeralta Mfg. is excited to be partnered with the County of Barrhead, Westlock County, Woodlands County, the MD of Lesser Slave River and the Westlock Regional Waste Management Commission in joining the Clean Farms Ag Plastics Recycling Program. Together we can avoid agricultural plastic from entering local landfills and put it to good use through proper collection and recycling programs."
The second collection site, located at the Westlock Regional Landfill and operated by the Westlock Regional Waste Management Commission (WRWMC), will focus on the collection and baling of twine.
"The Commission is pleased to work with its partners to help reduce agricultural waste going into our landfills and clearing farms of these products," said Tom Moore, Manager of WRWMC. Mr. Moore further added that "through projects like this, we can see a change in how we handle waste more responsibly."
All partners are committed to creating a successful program for the region, leveraging the expertise of each partner while taking advantage of existing equipment, facilities, and established networks and reputations.