Grain bags are now recyclable at Nipawin area landfill

NIPAWIN — One new item this year that can be recycled by the Nipawin area’s waste authority is grain bags.

The Boreal Area Regional Waste Authority used the Town of Nipawin’s open house on May 30 to get out information on what can be recycled and what can’t.

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“The more items we can keep out of the landfill by diverting them to other steams, that’s what we want to do,” said Richard Lang, general manager with the authority. “Anything that we can find another use for somewhere else, that’s what we’re hoping to do.”

Grain bags became recyclable on Jan. 1 as part of the provincial stewardship program.

Since then, the regional waste authority collected over 300 grain bags.

“They were recyclable before, but there was no official program for them,” Lang said. “Clean Farms operates the stewardship program, so they’re the ones who look after all the details. We are a collection point for them. They come and pick them up and make them into recycling.”

All grain bags must be rolled and tied before they can be recycled. The waste diversion center carries a grain bag roller on site for producers to use.

“So they can take it, roll the bags, and bring them in.”

There is no fee to recycle them, rather there is a fee producers pay when buying them.

Lang said there are multiple reasons to recycle them rather than throw them out.

“One, it keeps them out of the landfill, right? So we’re not using up space in the landfill. Two, it helps the environment,” he said. “Plastic lives for a long, long time.”

After the grain bags are picked up by Clean Farms, Lang said many go to the US where they are recycled into agriculture weeping tile and single use films.

“A lot of them used to go into the landfill, and I believe some people used to burn them as well, so that smoke all went up into the environment. Now there is a place for them to go and a program for them to prevent that environmental damage.”

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