The use of silage plastic has improved livestock feed production by improving feed quality and by providing an alternative storage option. Unfortunately, disposing of silage plastic is a big challenge. Burning silage plastic emits toxic chemicals and leaves toxic residues in the soil which can persist for many years. Under the Environment Act, burning of plastic wastes is illegal, and fines can be several hundred dollars. Roadside garbage pickup can be an option, however, farms are considered commercial enterprises, and collection is handled differently from one municipality to another; it’s best to contact your municipality to find out what is offered. Silage plastic can be stockpiled and periodically taken to the landfill or a commercial dumpster can be used. Tipping fees for disposal vary by county but are generally upwards of $100 / tonne. There are currently no regular recycling programs that accept silage plastic in the province.
The Municipality of the County of Colchester is hoping to change that. They are interested in exploring the possibility of regularly accepting silage plastic as a recyclable material, and are launching a pilot project for the months of March and April. During March and April, farms located within Colchester County will be able to take clean, bulk, used silage plastic to the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Kemptown without paying the regular disposal fee. This limited pilot project will give the Colchester MRF the opportunity to characterize the state of the incoming material and explore methods for handling it.
Farmers interested in participating can take their used silage plastic to the MRF Monday–Friday from 8 am – 4 pm during the months of March and April. You will need to drive over the scale on the way into the facility and at that time mention to the attendant that you are participating in the Silage Plastic Recycling Pilot Project and you will be directed to the MRF facility.
Plastic should not contain straps or twine. The biggest factor affecting the ability to recycle this material is the cleanliness of the plastic. Try to remove as much soil, waste feed, and ice as possible prior to adding the new plastic to your pile. Plastic containing any number of rocks is unacceptable, as they make processing the plastic impractical.
For more information on the silage plastic recycling pilot project, please contact the MRF Manager Jann McFarlane by phone: (902)897-0450 ext. 101 or by email at email@example.com.