New Jersey Encourages Plastic Recycling

New Jersey Encourages Plastic Recycling

The New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association recently teamed with New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus to stress the importance of recycling plastics to growers.

New Jersey’s year-round nursery and greenhouse film collection and recycled program is now in its 12th year.

“Recycling agricultural plastics is an important component to the overall sustainability of New Jersey’s agriculture industry, both economically and environmentally,” Kuperus said. “Farmers practicing good stewardship of the land and throughout their enterprise by reducing waste and recycling and reusing as many materials as they can is not only good for business, but also good for the environment. Our agricultural plastics recycling program helps farmers attain those stewardship goals.”

Growers have recycled more than 5.5 million pounds of film, including some which is used to cover greenhouses for environmental control and hoop houses for over-wintering of nursery material. In 2007 alone, 715,000 pounds of film were recycled by New Jersey growers.

That resulted in nearly $15,000 in savings that would have otherwise gone toward landfill tipping fees. Some growers even sold used film directly to vendors last year for more than $32,000. And that saved them $11,000 in tipping fees.

The unification of the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association and New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture should spread even more awareness among growers. It might even save a few more growers some money.

“The NJNLA is pleased to work with the Department of Agriculture and recyclers to insure that our members are kept abreast of recycling opportunities in New Jersey and to improve the overall sustainability of our industry’s production methods,” said Carl Nordstrom, executive director of the NJNLA.”

In order to recycle film, it must be free of lathing, staples and saran. Both white and clear nursery film and clear multi-season greenhouse covers can be recycled. Film containing other plastics such as bags, mulch film, shrink film, stretch film, drip irrigation or ground cover film, will not be accepted at collection sites.

New Jersey has two regional sites–the Burlington County Occupational Training Center in Mount Holly and the Cumberland County Solid Waste Complex in Deerfield–that accept film year-round.

For more information on recycling nursery and greenhouse film, call (609) 984-2506 or visit the New Jersey Department of Agriculture on the Web at www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/recycling.html.

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