Back to Agricultural Plastics Recycling

Agricultural Plastics Recycling

Disposable plastics are now integral to most farm operations in all sectors of agriculture. Plastics are replacing glass, metal, concrete, and ceramic because they cost less, increase production efficiency, and are safer. Disposal, however, is an unsolved problem. Some waste plastics are burned in open fires on-farm, plowed into fields, or pushed out of the way in piles. When burned, they can release dioxins and other pollutants, which then can enter the food system at the base of the food chain. When left in the field, plastics pose risks to livestock, create mosquito breeding habitat, and are an ugly detriment to agri-tourism.

NEWMOA, through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, conducted training and provided technical assistance to promote proper handling and recycling of agricultural plastics in rural areas of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont during 2008 and 2009. The aim of the Project was to help rural communities in these four states reduce the amount of agricultural plastics being burned and buried on-site and entering the solid waste disposal stream. NEWMOA and its partners provided technical assistance and training for agricultural and environmental agency staff who work directly with farmers, including state agricultural, agricultural extension, farm bureau, municipal solid waste, and soil and water conservation district employees.

Best Management Practices (BMP) Posters available for download:

This material is based upon work supported by the Utilities Programs, United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the view of the Utilities Program. The views expressed on this webpage do not necessarily reflect those of NEWMOA, USDA, the Project Partners, or the NEWMOA member-states.

NEWMOA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

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