Cornell to Demonstrate Farm & Maple Plastics Recycling

Ever wondered how farm plastics and maple tubing can be compacted into tidy, 40-inch, 1,000-pound cubes for recycling into practical, usable products? An Empire Farm Days event offers the opportunity to see how at demonstrations by the Cornell University NYS Recycling Agricultural Plastics Project (RAPP).

RAPP leaders will show how to sort, bundle and make bales from used farm plastics, as well as how to coil maple tubing, heat-shrink boat wrap and prepare various types of rigid plastic containers for recycling.

Demonstrations of a "Big Foot" vertical baler, purchased with funding from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, will take place daily at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Lois Levitan, Cornell NYS RAPP leader, and Nate Leonard, RAPP senior field technician coordinator, will answer questions from dairy, crop, greenhouse and maple producers. Finished ag plastics bales and training resources will be on-site.

New at the RAPP Empire Farm Days exhibit in 2013 will be a display of a water and chemical-resistant plastic plywood substitute made from recycled agricultural plastics by NBF Plastics, a division of North Brook Farms in Auburn, N.Y.

Samples of TERREWALKS modular interlocking sidewalk pavers made from recycled black-and-white silage bags will also be on display. The dark gray pavers are a product of TERRECON, which also makes a light gray paver from all-white bale wrap recycled from New York state dairy farms.

Baling used plastics can save farm and business owners landfill and dumpster fees of $70 or more per ton. RAPP recently released information on best practices for the recycling of maple tapping supplies.