As with any industry, agriculture’s utilization of plastics and large tires creates waste that could be recycled. From livestock to greenhouses, recyclable material exists in the form of pesticide containers, agriculture film, tires and more. A cost-effective and accessible recycling process could help the state’s agriculture industry effectively dispose of the used materials.
According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, 1.88 million pounds of pesticide containers have been recycled since 1993. However, additional retailer participation in the recycling program would provide a greater access to collection points across the state.
Because Michigan currently does not have a formalized program allowing producers to properly dispose of many recyclable products, discussions about agriculture plastic recycling have been on the rise. Plastics come with challenges, including bulk and cleanliness factors. Tires from farm equipment are often too thick for a recycling facility to handle.
Farmers would benefit from a solution to dispose of these materials. A lack of information about volume produced in Michigan, though, has been a barrier for the development of the pilot and implementation of a state program. Other states like California, Wisconsin and Minnesota have worked with companies to implement programs by providing dumpsters for farms that have collected millions of pounds of plastics, thus getting the materials off the farm and into the recycling process.
Developing collection sites and recycling facilities for agriculture tires and plastics is expensive and requires coordination for timely disposal from farms. Expanding Michigan’s recycling program would benefit both farmers and the environment.
Emily Reinart | 517-679-5337
MFB: #87 Resource Recovery
MDARD Pesticide Container Recycling