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Agricultural plastics recycling is taking off, big time!

Recyclers working with Cornell University’s Recycling Agricultural Plastics Program (RAPP) are now able to process virtually all types of used farm plastics. 

Much of this old plastic is turned into new products by manufacturers right here in New York State. Waste plastics previously used on NYS farms—primarily bale wrap, bunker covers, mulch and greenhouse film—are being transformed into sheets of plastic ‘plywood’, plastic sidewalk pavers, household and industrial-size garbage bags, and diesel fuel, as well as into new plastic containers, films and twine that will once again be used on farms.

RAPP will showcase an array of these products, as well as supplies and equipment for storing and compacting used plastic, at Empire Farm Days, August 5-7, 2014. Find RAPP at Booth #500, just outside the main entrance to the Cornell Building. Empire Farm Days—the largest outdoor agricultural trade show in the Northeast—will once again be held at the Rodman Lott & Son Farms on NY-414, just south of the village of Seneca Falls, NY.

Baler Operator Training Course: 10-11am each day of Empire Farm Days.
Register by July 22.

At 10am each day of the show RAPP will offer a free one-hour Training Course in operating the BigFoot BF300 plastic baler. This will be an hour well spent because trainees will be a giant step closer to receiving the required certification to operate a BigFoot independently on their own farms. Participants will be given a free instructional DVD to reinforce what was taught. Pre-registration by July 22 is requested, but drop-ins will be welcome if space permits. To sign up, call RAPP at 607-255-1187 or email agplasticsrecycling@cornell.edu.

For those who simply want to see the BigFoot work its magic, stop by at 2pm any day of the show for a demonstration. It’s quite something to watch this baler transform a mountain of plastic into a dense, 1000-lb, four-foot cube in just about half an hour.

The trick to keeping plastic in shape for recycling is to keep it free of grit and gravel, and as clean and dry as is possible under farm conditions. Demonstrations of these ‘best management practices’ (BMPs) will be ongoing throughout Empire Farm Days, with specific tips on how to handle each type of farm plastic.   BMPs and other recycling resources can also be found online at RAPP’s website: recycleagplastics.cornell.edu or Facebook page: facebook.com/Recycling.Agricultural.Plastics.