AG Plastics Pilot Program Report

Grain bags and twine recycle in Alberta

“The Alberta Ag-Plastic. Recycle It! program is a three-year (2019 – 2022), government funded pilot project that helps farmers recycle used grain bags and twine. In addition to on-
the-ground pilots that divert used grain bags and twine out of landfills and into new products, the program delivers a number of research projects that will help the potential transition of the pilots into a long-term, sustainable and self-funded program.

The following report summarizes the key activities from the pilot that took place between July 1 to December 31, 2020, namely the operation of pilot collections.

Agricultural plastics (ag plastics) recycling initiatives have been underway in Alberta for a
number of years. These were primarily managed by individual municipalities and funded by
ratepayers. These initiatives, combined with industry trends and the increased availability of ag plastics recycling across Western Canada, has led to a strong desire for a coordinated,
province-wide approach to help farmers and municipalities manage ag plastics.

The Alberta Ag-Plastic, Recycle It! program is led by the multi-stakeholder Agricultural
Plastics Recycling Group (APRG). The APRG, a group made up of over 20 stakeholder organizations from sectors across Alberta, representing municipalities, producers, non-
profits, recyclers and retailers among others, provides oversight of the program and a network to disseminate information and build support.

The program is being funded through a grant from the Government of Alberta and
administered by Alberta Beef Producers.

Cleanfarms is the program operator, responsible for identifying and accessing end markets,
handling program logistics including the collection and transportation to recycle the materials and leading the research projects.

We understand that there is strong appetite for data and stakeholder feedback about the
pilots. Please note that the pilot has operated for fifteen months and we are now able to
report data on the majority of quantities collected. To facilitate future reporting and feedback, we have made note of the data requested in this report that is currently not available.” …Clean Farms

Next steps (from the report):

  • Pilot collections at the 26 current collection sites will continue to further test logistics, handling and other aspects of the program.
  • Additional collection sites will likely be recruited in the next year of the program to increase accessibility and test larger scale logistics.
  • Communications efforts to producers, emphasizing proper preparation and collection site locations, will continue.