Agricultural Plastics Recycling Program Launched in the Counties of Lacombe, Red Deer and Ponoka

Connector Summer 2018

Lacombe County, Red Deer County, and Ponoka County recently joined together to provide a recycling program for plastic grain bags.

“While this program won’t be operated on a cost recovery basis, it does eliminate expenditures associated with tipping fees when agricultural plastics are landfilled. The partnership with other counties provides an economy of scale for manpower and equipment while providing local producers with a recycling option that promotes sustainable agricultural practices” explained Lacombe County Reeve, Paula Law.

In August, the three counties signed an agreement with Merlin Plastics – one of the largest plastic recyclers in Western Canada. The plastic grain bags, collected from central Alberta agriculture producers, will be delivered to a recycling facility in southern Alberta. From there, the plastic will be processed and turned into pellets, which are then utilized by a plastics manufacturer. Both the pelletizing and manufacturing will occur in Alberta.

“We are pleased to have a made-in-Alberta solution that doesn’t involve the product being sent overseas and, subsequently, lost track of. Through this arrangement with Merlin Plastics, our counties have an assurance that the plastic is not only recycled, but will also have a practical use after,” said Reeve Law.

This service will begin in November 2018 and is offered free of charge to agricultural producers operating within Lacombe County, Ponoka County, and Red Deer County. Lacombe County will be responsible for providing grain bag collection services. The grain bags will be processed with a grain bag roller on site and collected for eventual delivery to the recycling center. Grain bags dropped-off for recycling must be free of grain, mud, dirt, debris, and vermin.