Gloucester starts scheme to recycle farm plastic

ROW upon row of green, plastic-wrapped bales are a familiar sight in Hunter paddocks and inside is top quality nosh for Hunter herds.

But all that green plastic has to go somewhere and that costs.

In what is believed to be a first for the Hunter, a recycling service has started that ultimately turns the green plastic bale and silage dump waste into useful products, including flooring and sheeting.

Gloucester Shire Council’s waste management centre is accepting the plastic for recycling but Denman farmers Michael Hassett and Andrew Farr say their district needs help too.

Mr Hassett, of Halewood Holsteins, said the plastic was a nuisance and collection of it by skip was costly.

‘‘We use around 200 to 300 round bales a year,’’ Mr Hassett said. ‘‘It is not heavy but it’s bulky.’’

The plastic is wrapped around silage, wet feed that Mr Hassett makes from lucerne.

He uses silage all year around because it produces high milk yields.

Mr Farr said it cost about $40 to $50 a week to use the skip and even worse, some people burnt it.

‘‘A recycling service would be great,’’ Mr Farr said.

Silage is also produced by digging a hole and burying green matter under black plastic, weighed down by tyres.

Mr Farr said the rolls were convenient because sometimes farmers forgot where they buried their supply.

The average dairy farm probably needs to dispose of more than 300 kilograms of silage wrap every year.

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