SAUK CENTRE, Minn. – Over the last year, Revolution Plastics has taken the agricultural industry of Minnesota and Wisconsin by storm, collecting more than 3 million pounds of agricultural plastics at farms, which is then properly recycled. It has encouraged an alternative, eco-friendly method of disposal rather than the traditional means of burning or throwing it into a landfill.
    On Nov. 6, the recycling group launched a new program, Recapture Bag, which is aimed to provide recycling options for dairy farmers who did not qualify for the dumpsters.
    The program is in addition to the already 1,400 recycling dumpsters in Minnesota and 4,000 in Wisconsin.
    “It was a common concern voiced to us that small farms were not able to fill the dumpster more than once or twice a year. So, we started thinking, how do we help everybody?” said Price Murphy, director of operations for Revolution Plastics. “The bags are not replacing the dumpsters, but allowing every farmer the opportunity to recycle.”
    The program works by farmers purchasing a bag kit from any of three vendors – Blue Lake Plastics, LLC, in Sauk Centre, Minn., Jordan Ag Supply in Monroe, Wis., and KSI Supply in Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
    “We identified three key dealers that are supportive of the current recycling program and supply to a large number of farms in the area,” Murphy said.
    Each kit contains a roll of five bags with individual bags designed to hold up to 200 pounds of plastic material. When all five bags are full, generating 1,000 pounds of ag plastic waste – the equivalent of one dumpster load – the company will collect the bags for proper disposal.
    For Chris Kerfeld, at Blue Lake Plastics, LLC, he is anticipating this program to be a large success. With 450 bag kits ordered, Kerfeld had 300 claimed at the launch of the new recycling platform.
    “The interest is there. … Farmers have just been waiting for the program to get setup,” said Kerfeld, who will sell the kits for around $30.
    Recycling plastic is becoming more commonplace as landfills are accepting fewer amounts of plastic, Murphy said.
    “Landfills are taking nearly 2 million pounds less plastic than they used to,” he said. “People are wanting to, and should be, recycling.”
    Once the dealers have sold out of their initial inventory, there is opportunity to restock for further distribution – for farmers and solid waste companies that farmers may already be working with.
    “If a farm is outside of our pick-up area, we’ve setup centralized locations where the bags can be dropped off and we’ll pick them up,” said Murphy, referring to areas such as Pine County, Minn.
    Unlike the dumpsters, which are returned to the farms for reuse, the bag kits are recycled and new kits must be purchased.
    However, the plastics from the dumpsters, as well as what will be collected from the bags, is made into the bag kits.
    “We distribute the product and it’s our obligation to get rid of it the right way, and with this program we’re able to bring everything full circle,” Kerfeld said. “[Revolution Plastic] is a great company to work with and we all want it to work out and do the right thing. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
    Murphy agreed.
    “We believe we can help everyone,” he said. “The dumpsters are successful and still thriving, and we’re hopeful this will be, too.”