BLACK PLASTIC silage sheets and bale-wrap from farms in Somerset can be delivered to collection sites for recycling at the end of winter.

The scheme, set up by the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group and other industry partners, will offer producers in the county an alternative to burning or burying waste.

Producers will be given a date on which they can deliver waste to 11 collection sites, for a fee of 20 for each load they deliver. This is less than the cost of recycling the plastic, as additional funding has been secured from a number of local organisations, says FWAG. Unfortunately, only black plastic can be recycled through the scheme this year, but recycling for other materials is being investigated.

 Black plastic is, however, one of the main waste products from Somerset farms, says scheme project manager Roland Stonex. “The need for a sustainable disposal method is now more pressing, as plastic waste from farms will soon be classified as controlled waste under the Waste Framework Directive, prohibiting burning and burying.”

Discussions about a national collection scheme are also taking place within the Agricultural Waste Stakeholders Forum. A scheme is also being set up by a Lincs arable farmer for recycling all farm waste plastics (Arable, Nov 19).

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