RAPP - Chenango County Government

Recycling Agricultural Plastics Project
Life-Cycle Stewardship of Agricultural Plastics
Major funding for RAPP is currently from the NYS Environmental Protection Fun administered by the NYS Department of Environmental
Conservation (NYDEC). Funding has also come from the NY Farm Viability Institute, Cornell Cooperative Extension Administration, US EPA
Region II, USDA Rural Development, and Cornell Department of Communication, with invaluable in-kind contributions from RAPP partners.
Chenango County Farms
• over 70 dairy farms
• average plastic wrap weighs 3 - 3.5 lbs.
• Smaller farms produce > 1,000 lbs. agricultural
Note: larger farms using more plastic would
produce more
What falls under the agricultural plastics
• bale wrap
• silage and grain
• bunker silo
• bale netting
• Polytwine
• feed and pellet
• irrigation
• drip tape
• maple tubing •
green and
nursery pots
and seedling
mulch and
rigid containers
bee hive
Why is Ag Plastics Recycling Different?
Photos: Lois Levitan, RAPP
Most plastics from farms are dirty, bulky, dispersed
across a rural landscape and may have residues
What is the Recycling Agricultural
Plastics Project (RAPP)?
RAPP is a program based at Cornell University
which works with local CCE educators to aid in
the proper recycling of agricultural plastics
What is the Recycling Agricultural Plastics
Project (RAPP)?
Photo from:
The Post Standard
Since 2009, RAPP has coordinated the collection
of nearly 1 million pounds of used plastic that
would otherwise be sent to landfills, burned in
open fires on farms or left behind in the fields.
What is the Recycling Agricultural Plastics
Project (RAPP)?
North Brook Farms, Inc
RAPP currently collaborates with numerous
agencies, organizations, businesses and farmers
across NY to recycle plastics into sidewalk
pavers, plastic lumber, oil and other products!
How NYS Ag Plastics Recycling Works
• RAPP, CCE, SWCD, waste managements and other
recycling agencies and businesses work together
to help spread the recycling message, teach best
management practices and carry out the
collection of the plastic
• With farm staff assisting with loading the baler
and RAPP operating it, 1000 pounds of film can
be compacted into a bale in about 30 minuets.
• Finished bales are accumulated locally and then
move to market
Ag Plastics Recycling with RAPP
What RAPP Does
On-farm education:
preparing plastic for
recycling, incorporating
recycling into farm routine,
operating compaction
Encourage behavior change:
STOP on-farm disposal
START recycling
Extended producer:
responsibility among
agricultural plastic
manufacturers & distributors
Develop infrastructure:
Streamline logistics of
moving from farms to
new end products.
Cultivate market
options appropriate
for agricultural plastics
Levitan, Lois, Cornell University 2012
On the Farm Education
• Preparing plastic
for recycling (BMP)
• Incorporating
recycling into the
farm routine
– Lets make this
more of a habit
than a hassle
• Operate
Promote Recycling
(end on-farm disposal)
• Open burning restrictions  strong motivator to
– Almost impossible to enforce on 2 million farms across
the US
• A change in ‘Cultural climate’
– Recycling is less hassle and a lower cost than
• Seeing is believing
– People what to know where the plastic goes and what
it becomes
Keep plastic dry and shake out
any pebbles/clumps
Roll or fold the plastic into 3’x 3’
pillows or bundles
Store the plastic off the ground,
out of mud, gravel and grit
Separate different types of
plastic by color and type
What I Have been asked to do as a RAPP
• Act as an outreach to
farms that wish to
participate and find
farms that produce ag
plastics throughout the
• Educate individual farms
about the BMPs and
what happens to the
recycled plastics and
develop a BMP for their
individual farm
Photo courtesy of Cornell RAPP
What I Have been asked to do as a RAPP
• Find the location and
demographics of
farming in Chenango
and Broome Counties
–Type of agriculture,
location, amount of
plastic used
What I Have been asked to do as a RAPP
• Identify events where a
RAPP display would be
appropriate and effective
• Identify and post RAPP
publicity materials
• Identify and outreach to our
target audience through
local news
Photo courtesy of Cornell RAPP
What I Have been asked to do as a RAPP
• identify good locations for storage of finished bales
– places where farmers can easily bring the bales
but where dumping of junk plastic would be
How you can help
• Talk about the program to people you know
and meet
• Recruit participants
• Distribute update fliers
• Make connections
What you need to know
RAPP offers an alternative
RAPP can help recycle agricultural plastics
Each farm needs its own BMP to be successful
Bigfoot Baler in action
Your Local Contact
Emily Jane Anderson
Chenango County CCE
99 North Broad Street
Norwich, NY 13815
607-334-5841 ex. 17
[email protected]

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