The Gleaner
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Area producers recycle over 107 tons of agricultural plastics

Farmers in the Haut-Saint-Laurent and nearby municipalities recycled 107,152 kilograms of agricultural plastics in 2023, including plastic wrap or film, tarps, silage bags, twine, and netting.

The plastic was recovered as part of a program managed by Agri-RÉCUP in collaboration with the Haut-Saint-Laurent syndicate of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, and the municipalities of Hinchinbrooke, Saint-Anicet, and Très-Saint-Sacrement which host collection sites.

The waste plastics were sorted and bagged or compressed into bales before being taken to three collection sites located outside municipal garages.

The total amount also includes plastics returned to the Uniag Co-operative in Sainte-Martine, which are tabulated as part of the Beauharnois-Salaberry results. This collection site was also included in the original pilot project in the Haut-Saint-Laurent due to its proximity to Saint-Chrysostome.

All three drop spots in the Haut-Saint-Laurent recorded an increase to the amounts of plastics recovered in 2023 when compared with 2022 numbers. A total of 45,288 kilograms of waste agricultural plastic was returned in Hinchinbrooke, along with 22,542 kgs in Saint-Anicet, and 16,842 kgs in Très-Saint-Sacrement, for a combined total of 84,672 kgs. The 2023 total amounts to 8,407 more kgs than in 2022. An additional 22,480 kgs were recovered in Sainte-Martine.

 

At least 45288 kilograms of waste agricultural plastic was returned to the municipal garage in Hinchinbrooke as part of a recovery program managed by AgriRÉCUP PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

“The 2023 collection results show that participation by agricultural producers continues to grow, and that the need is there,” says Émilie Escafit, the waste management coordinator with the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent.

Escafit says the agricultural community’s commitment and participation in the Agri-RÉCUP program was presented as a “strength” in the regional diagnosis section of the MRC’s recently adopted Residual Materials Management Plan (PGMR). She confirms the MRC is quite pleased with the outcome of its collaboration with AgriRÉCUP.

A separate initiative to recycle plastic tubing used by maple syrup producers resulted in the recovery of 900 kgs of tubing in Sainte-Martine, while 7,130 kgs were brought to the municipal garage in Franklin last November.

The total is less than the amount recovered in 2022, when over 14 tonnes of tubing were collected; however, this type of plastic has a longer lifespan than those used on farms.

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