4 Nov 2013

Rural recycler to stop collecting plastic silage wrap

9:13 am on 4 November 2013

One of the country's rural recycling services has decided to stop collecting used silage plastic from farms, saying it's no longer viable.

But the Agrecovery programme will continue to collect plastic chemical containers, as well as unwanted chemicals from farms and orchards.

And the main recycler of silage wrap, Plasback, will continue to collect that waste.

Agrecovery has collected more than 700 tonnes of used silage plastics over the past four years.

But that's a drop in the bucket compared with the well over 5000 tonnes a year estimated to be in use.

Agrecovery foundation chair Graeme Peters says it's been unable to recover the costs of dealing with that material.

He says it's a hard business to be in with high transport costs, ongoing contamination issues and no way to recycle the product in New Zealand so it has to be sent overseas.

Mr Peters says that combination of factors has made it too difficult for Agrecovery.

But he says Agrecovery has come to an arrangement with Plasback which will continue to pick up the silage wrap bags and specialises in that area of the market.

Mr Peters says Agrecovery's core activity of collecting used plastic containers and unwanted agrichemicals is continuing to grow.

Last year it recovered more than 180 tonnes of containers and 16 tonnes of expired chemicals.