March 31, 2009
Contact: Lois Levitan, Blake Putman, Cornell University, 607-255-4765;
or local Cornell Cooperative Extension

Rigid Farm & Horticultural Plastics Added to Northern NY Recycling Tour

On April 8 at 9:30 am at Rudd’s Spray Service in Watertown Center, the Cornell University Recycling Agricultural Plastics (RAPP) program will be accepting rigid horticultural and dairy plastics and films, such as silo covers and plastic mulch. This collection is part of a round of used dairy plastics baling that begins again March 31st in Malone and will continue across Northern New York through April 9. RAPP is coordinating the effort in cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP), New York Farm Viability Institute, Soil & Water Conservation Districts and the St. Lawrence/Black River Resource Conservation & Development Program.

Organizers advise that those interested in supplying plastics for the April 8 collection MUST call ahead to Art Baderman at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County at 315-788-8450.

RAPP leader Lois Levitan with the Cornell University Environmental Risk Analysis Program leads the effort to develop the infrastructure and markets for used agricultural plastics. Farmers, waste management industry representatives, and Extension educators in Northern New York have been assisting with the testing of baling equipment and the development of best management practices for handling, storing and compressing ag plastics into bales.

Levitan says, “The special collection of rigid plastics is to expand service to the horticultural and dairy farm communities. The nursery pots and trays that will be accepted must be dry and have the dirt knocked out. Pesticide and other chemical containers must be tripled-rinsed; formaldehyde will not be accepted; some containers may not need rinsing – this is why those interested must call ahead for guidelines.”

Farmers interested in hosting the BigFoot agricultural plastics baler on their farms must have at minimum 1,000 lbs. of used bale wrap, bunk and silo covers, ag bags and other farm plastics as clean and dry as possible. Those with smaller amounts of plastics may bring them clean, dry, cut and bundled to the collection or baling demonstrations. Best management practices guidelines are available from Cornell Cooperative Extension.

NNYADP Co-chair and dairyman Joe Giroux of Plattsburgh added one bale of used farm plastic to the first shipment and has made another bale. He says, “The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is pleased to have all six of our counties participating in this project as one more way to take an active role in being good land and water stewards while reducing the cost of farming.”

Baling the plastics for recycling saves farmers landfill and dumpster fees costing as much as $70 or more per ton.

Learn more about agricultural environmental management practices for Northern New York online at www.nnyagdev.org.

The full schedule of agricultural plastics baling and collections is:

Franklin County
Tuesday March 31 -- Contact Chastity at 518-483-4061
Morning: baler reserved for on-farm baling (>1000 lbs, properly prepared)
3 pm: Vincent Farm, 86 Vincent Road, Malone

Wednesday April 1 -- Contact Rich at 518-483-7403
10 am: Moore Farm, 3170 State Rte 11, Malone
3 pm: Malone Highway Dept, 14981 State Rte 30, Malone

St. Lawrence County
Friday April 3 -- Contact Brent at 315-379-9192
9 am: Madrid Town Office Building, 3529 County Rte 14 (Accepting silage bags, bunker covers and bale wrap)
2 pm: Cornell Cooperative Extension Office, 1084 State Hwy 68, Canton

Monday, April 6 -- Contact Blake at 315-528-7050
10 am: Roput Farms, 3406 CR 11, Heuvelton
2 pm: Fairgrounds Cattle show ring (use Rock Isle Rd entrance), Gouverneur

Jefferson County
Tuesday, April 7 -- Contact Art at 315-788-8450
11:30 am: Leray Sealed Storage, 28787 Martin Rd, Evans Mills
3 pm: Radley Farm, 33535 NYS Route 12E, Cape Vincent

Wednesday, April 8 – MUST CALL AHEAD to Art at 315-788-8450
9:30 am: Rudd Spray Service, Watertown Center. Dry rigid plastics only (e.g. dairy medicine bottles, soap/acid drums, pesticide containers, plant pots and trays, etc.). Calling ahead prior to drop-off is MANDATORY to assure containers can be accepted and are properly cleaned.
11:30 am: Rodman Recycling Center, Rodman

Lewis County
Thursday, April 9 - Contact Joe or Frans at 315-376-5270
9 am: Turin Fire Station, N. Main St. Turin (Accepting silage bags, bunker covers and bale wrap)
11:30 am: Lowville Landfill, Lowville
2:00 pm: Croghan Transfer Station, Indian River Road, Croghan # # #