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Farmers Urged to ‘Step Up’ on Recycling

Photo Credit: PXfuel

As part of Recycle Week 2021, farmers are being urged to ‘step-up’ on recycling to create a more circular economy in agriculture.

NFU Scotland sharing different techniques on their website to help encourage farmers to avoid seeing their waste go to landfill.

They’re encouraging local farmers to get together to find ways in which they can help make recycling cheaper and efficient.

NFU Scotland’s Environmental Resources Policy Manager Sarah Cowie said: “Firstly, farmers and crofters are encouraged to reduce, reuse and recycle to minimise the waste plastic use on farm. Where waste is generated, there are a number of options farmers can use for disposal.

“Some local authorities take agricultural waste as part of their commercial waste collection service, and others may take agricultural plastic waste at their recycling centres. Members are encouraged to get in touch with their local authorities directly to discuss the options available.”

In Perth and Kinross, everything from poly tunnel cover, grow bag and silage wrap as well as seed bag can be specifically recycled in Perth.

Sarah Cowie added: “NFUS encourages working together with other farm businesses in your area to consider what can be done collectively to make it easier and cheaper for waste to be collected. It may be that a central collection point can be established, such as those already established at Ayr and St Boswells auction marts, which allows farmers to bring their waste to a centralised location on a specific day. Speak to other farmers in your area, or to your Regional Manager who may be able to assist further.

“When organising your waste for disposal, it’s important waste is separated by type. Recycling providers are unlikely to want to collect undifferentiated waste because it increases costs for them to separate into different waste streams. Undifferentiated waste can potentially end up going to landfill, which can lead to increased costs that will ultimately be borne by the farmer. 

“Another general rule is that the cleaner the plastic, the better, as clean plastic is much easier and cheaper to recycle. Different companies will have different rules on contamination, but make sure you don’t contaminate collectible waste with items such as batteries, gloves, or medicine waste.”

More information on disposing of agricultural waste can be found on: https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/organics/farm-plastic-recycling

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