Recycling has been a popular topic across the country since China stopped accepting recyclable materials from the United States (and other countries) in 2018. Farmers across the state utilize recyclable items from pesticide containers to film plastics and are eager for opportunities to recycle more of these materials. The renewed push to increase recycling rates in the state from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (MDEGLE) with the recycling racoons campaign is focused on residential recycling, which unfortunately does not include many of the materials agriculture looks to recycle. In addition, farm operations (as defined by the Right to Farm Act) are not eligible to participate in the Scrap Tire Cleanup Grant Program.
There are some opportunities and programs that work to advance recycling access for agriculture. In 2019, MDEGLE provided a grant to set up a network to recycle agricultural, greenhouse, and marine film plastics. In addition, while there are some opportunities to recycle empty pesticide containers, whether through the company that provides the pesticides or through local Conservation District initiatives, these opportunities vary greatly across the state. Some county Farm Bureaus and Conservation Districts have also set up tire recycling drives to help farmers recycle tires. While successful programs exist, there are still numerous gaps in the recycling infrastructure and access for agriculture’s recyclable materials.
Contact: Tess Van Gorder | 517-323-6711
What opportunities are there to increase recycling availability for agriculture? Are there partnerships that could help advance agricultural recycling access?
How can current programs/opportunities be improved to further support agricultural recycling?
Ag Film Plastics
Tire Recycling Drive