New Jersey’s Recycling Program Is One To Watch

Serving as a model for a state program, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture is celebrating 15 successful years of nursery and greenhouse plastic recycling. Karen Kritz, recycling program manager, explains how the program has evolved and gives growers tips to start recycling on their own.

In 1996 New Jersey’s Secretary of Agriculture, Arthur Brown, attended the American Society for Plasticulture meeting and met with representatives from AT Plastics, a manufacturer of nursery and greenhouse film to discuss recycling agricultural plastics. After the meeting, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) accepted the role in 1997 as facilitator in the development and implementation of a statewide film-recycling program in an effort to recover and recycle the estimated 1 million pounds used each year by Garden State growers.

NJDA started out with six collection sites where most of the sites only collected nominal tonnage and were not cost effective. In 2003, NJDA decided to downsize to two collection sites and focus where a majority of the film was being generated. From 1997 through 2004, the recycling program was seasonal (February through April) and collected between 350,000 and 500,000 pounds per season. Each year, participation increased up to 5 percent. At the request of the growers, in 2005 NJDA expanded the program to year-round and collected almost 750,000 pounds of film–an increase of 47 percent from the previous years.

Recycling Growers

Ed Overdevest of Overdevest Nurseries has been recycling for 20 years. He started to work outside of NJDA because he has a high volume of plastics to recycle. Although he is working with a different company, Overdevest reports to Kritz every year to record the amount of plastics that have been recycled.

Two collection sites are quasi-government offices that are not in business to make large profits. In order to ensure the program remained viable over the years, NJDA charged a tipping fee of $20 to $25 per ton. When NJDA first developed the program in 1997, it cost $50 per ton to bale the film, and the market rate for used film was almost $100 per ton.
However, at the end of the year the market for used plastic decreased and the price offered for used film plummeted to as low as $20 per ton. Because there was a small tipping fee assessed to the participants in the

“The first thing recommended to people who wish to recycle nursery and greenhouse film is to determine the cost of collecting and baling the film, then establish the market rate for used film and evaluate the landfill tipping fees,” Kritz says. “Keep in mind the market for used film fluctuates just like the price of oil, so you will have good years where you will get good money for the baled film and bad years where you may just break even.”

Greenhouse and nursery film is the most desired material for purchasing, and it must have minimal contaminants to be recycled. Film must be free of lathing, staples, wood, tape, twine and saran, and if sold to a vendor it must be baled. If the film is not thoroughly cleaned, it will not be accepted.

Through trial and error, NJDA has developed guidelines for the bundling and storage of used film. The guidelines are helpful to growers so the film remains as clean as possible. (An example is how to bundle.) Loads containing other agricultural plastics, such as bags, mulch film, shrink film, stretch film, drip irrigation or ground cover film, need to be separated for a different recycling program, or they will be rejected at the collection sites. Then, they would be sent to the landfill, which would result in fees.

Getting Started

NJDA is in partnership with Cumberland County Improvement Authority, offering free recycling of empty plastic pesticide containers on a monthly collection date. The collection program will be held at the Cumberland County Solid Waste Complex in Deer-field Township. The program is free and will save growers a landfill tipping fee of $60 per ton.

The Cumberland County Solid Waste Complex also accepts drip irrigation tape, charging farmers a fee of $30 per ton–nearly 50 percent savings in landfill tipping fees. Before delivery of the agricultural plastics, all growers must call the Cumberland County Improvement Authority to establish an account with the authority. Growers using a licensed solid waste hauler must inform the authority prior to delivery in an effort to maintain proper billing and documentation.

This year, NJDA is working with Cumberland County Improvement Authority, Lowe’s and Home Depot to develop and put into action a nursery pot, cell pack and tray collection program for small quantity generator growers and landscapers. Pots are only accepted empty with no plants. Large generators of these materials can prepare the materials and sell them to plastic recyclers.

Leave a Reply

More From Crop Inputs...
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans

February 8, 2016

Register Now For Biocontrols USA 2016 Workshop

Biocontrol is becoming a mainstream part of growing plants commercially. Every good program starts with quality products and a good supply chain. Register now to join us from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on March 4, following the conclusion of the education program at the Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA for a special event that will help you improve your biocontrols program. In this informative, real-world workshop led by biocontrols expert Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, owner of Buglady Consulting, you’ll learn: The key players that are producing beneficials How to check product quality once you get them The latest trends and practices growers are using to implement beneficials into their programs Important pitfalls to avoid. A roundup of the current biocontrol research that can help you be more successful in your production practices this season. Wainwright-Evans, a pest management specialist, has been involved in the green industry for more than two […]

Read More
Gotham Greens Queens

February 8, 2016

Gotham Greens Opens Newest Greenhouse In Queens, NY

The new facility, which was partially funded by grants based on reduced energy consumption, nearly triples Gotham Greens’ overall production capacity in New York.

Read More
Travis Higginbotham

February 8, 2016

Biocontrols And Next-Generation Production

Biocontrols are becoming much more established in greenhouse production. In some cases, it’s the next generation of growers that’s helping to support the adoption of this next generation of pest control. Travis Higginbotham, R&D Manager for Battlefield Farms, in Rapidan, VA, is a great example. Brought on in 2014, he is helping Battlefield take the next step in product development, as well as become more efficient as a business and adapt to new technologies and demands from their customers with a more proactive approach. Higginbotham will share information on Battlefield’s nematode program at the Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference and Expo, March 3-4, 2016 in Monterey, CA. We asked him about the details involved with building a new biocontrols program, as well as the future of sustainability in greenhouse production. Q: What are the differences in costs involved in using biocontrols? What costs should growers consider, aside from the hard costs […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans

February 8, 2016

Register Now For Biocontrols USA 2016 Workshop

Biocontrol is becoming a mainstream part of growing plants commercially. Every good program starts with quality products and a good supply chain. Register now to join us from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on March 4, following the conclusion of the education program at the Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA for a special event that will help you improve your biocontrols program. In this informative, real-world workshop led by biocontrols expert Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, owner of Buglady Consulting, you’ll learn: The key players that are producing beneficials How to check product quality once you get them The latest trends and practices growers are using to implement beneficials into their programs Important pitfalls to avoid. A roundup of the current biocontrol research that can help you be more successful in your production practices this season. Wainwright-Evans, a pest management specialist, has been involved in the green industry for more than two […]

Read More
Travis Higginbotham

February 8, 2016

Biocontrols And Next-Generation Production

Biocontrols are becoming much more established in greenhouse production. In some cases, it’s the next generation of growers that’s helping to support the adoption of this next generation of pest control. Travis Higginbotham, R&D Manager for Battlefield Farms, in Rapidan, VA, is a great example. Brought on in 2014, he is helping Battlefield take the next step in product development, as well as become more efficient as a business and adapt to new technologies and demands from their customers with a more proactive approach. Higginbotham will share information on Battlefield’s nematode program at the Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference and Expo, March 3-4, 2016 in Monterey, CA. We asked him about the details involved with building a new biocontrols program, as well as the future of sustainability in greenhouse production. Q: What are the differences in costs involved in using biocontrols? What costs should growers consider, aside from the hard costs […]

Read More
Jim Zablocki, Plant Prod

February 5, 2016

Sign Up For A Webinar On Using Plant Nutrition To Impro…

The webinar takes place March 2, and covers how leading growers are using plant nutrition to minimize costs, reduce the number of factors they need to worry about, and lessen environmental impacts.

Read More
Biocontrols Conference and Expo 2016

February 4, 2016

Biocontrols 2016 Conference Offers Insights And Learnin…

The Biocontrols 2016 Conference & Expo, which takes place March 3-4, 2016, in Monterey, CA, brings together growers, pest control advisers, suppliers, researchers, and other segments of the industry to share the latest information on biochemicals, microbial pesticides, and beneficials, and help you put biocontrols to work in your operation.

Read More
Fertilizer Rates Feature Image

January 29, 2016

Bioworks Releases New Higher Nitrogen Fertilizer For Or…

Verdanta N-Vita 9-4-3 promotes foliar growth and features a slow release process, making nutrients available for a longer period of time.

Read More
Primula acaulis, Botrytis, Disease, Griffin Greenhouse Supplies

January 19, 2016

EPA Approves Syngenta’s Mural Fungicide For Use On Seve…

Mural contains two active ingredients and is designed to provide broad-spectrum control of a wide range of root and foliar diseases.

Read More

January 12, 2016

EPA Releases Preliminary Risk Assessment For Imidaclopr…

The assessment, which will soon be open for public comment, indicates that imidacloprid potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators.

Read More
Sustane Research Greenhouse 2015

January 7, 2016

Fertilizer Manufacturers Aim To Deliver Sustainable Sol…

Industry experts discuss the latest trends to help ensure 2016 is your best year yet.

Read More
Vestaron

December 30, 2015

Vestaron’s Spear Bioinsecticide No Longer Carries Bee T…

Following a review that shows it has no detrimental effect on honeybees, EPA has removed the bee toxicity warning statement from Spear.

Read More
How To Overcome Downy Mildew Spread On Impatiens

December 16, 2015

Syngenta Launches Two New Fungicides For The Ornamental…

Solatenol and oxathiapiprolin, each with unique active ingredients, should be available to growers in early 2016.

Read More
Biocontrols Conference and Expo 2016

December 15, 2015

Mark Your Calendars For The Second Annual Biocontrols U…

Produced by Meister Media Worldwide in cooperation with the Biopesticide Industry Alliance, the event brings together growers, pest control advisors, researchers, biocontrols suppliers, and everyone who plays a role in this crucial element of integrated pest management programs.

Read More
Gerbera Yellow Sticky Card

December 10, 2015

Michigan State Offers Free Download Of Bulletin Coverin…

The new fact sheet provides photos and lists commercially available beneficial insects, their target insects, and key facts about biocontrol agents.

Read More
Landmark Open-Bottom Tray

December 8, 2015

Landmark Plastic Addresses Retailer Capillary Mat Requi…

With the availability of water being the number one global risk based on its overall impact to society, it’s no surprise that big name retailers like Walmart, The Home Depot and Lowe’s have taken aggressive steps to reduce their water consumption at store level. More specifically, for the Spring 2016 selling season, Walmart has mandated that its horticultural partners be capillary mat compliant. This means that plants typically watered top-down will now be required to be watered through a sophisticated watering mat that helps saturate the plants from the bottom up. To help growers embrace this new requirement, Landmark Plastic has developed a new trade gallon tray with an open bottom that enables plants to be watered from the roots up. This not only helps utilize water more efficiently, but also helps retailers reduce labor costs associated with the task of watering. “We’ve made it our business to solve problems […]

Read More
Arthij van der Veer Feature image

December 7, 2015

Sustainability Is Key To Your Operation’s Future

During Greenhouse Grower's 2015 Top 100 Growers Breakfast at Cultivate'15, Arthij ven der Veer of MPS (More Profitable Sustainability) discussed crop protection trends in Europe, Latin America, and around the world, and what to expect on the horizon.

Read More
Bee Vectoring Technology Bumblebee

December 1, 2015

New Crop Protection Solution Uses Bees To Deliver Bioco…

The new system from Bee Vectoring Technology incorporated a powdered crop protection material into the lid of commercial bumblebee hives. Bees pick up the product when they leave the hive and deposit it on every plant they visit.

Read More
Stockosorb Crystals_with water Agriculture leaf (Evonick)

November 21, 2015

9 Sustainable Growing Media Products For Superior Green…

Manufacturers are delivering new growing media products to help growers attempt to minimize their footprint without sacrificing quality. Here are nine new products to consider for your greenhouse operation.

Read More
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans

November 16, 2015

Real-World Biocontrols Trends From The Buglady

During ,em>Greenhouse Grower's Top 100 Breakfast at Cultivate'15, Suzanne Wainwright-Evans of Buglady Consulting discussed trends in biocontrols, including what she has seen from breeders, growers and even public gardens.

Read More

October 13, 2015

Bayer CropScience And OHP To End Marketing Partnership …

The move allows Bayer to market its ornamental products directly to greenhouses and nurseries, although OHP will still service a limited line of Bayer products.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]