Revolution of farmers and plastic wast
Farmers in the Midwest have struggled with what to do with the surplus of used plastic.
Now, Revolutions Plastics has offered an environmentally-friendly option to recycle farmers’ agricultural plastic.
In April 2017, Revolution Plastics expanded its recycling resources into five Midwest counties, pushing its mission into the rural communities in Minnesota and North Dakota. The company provides farms with free agriculture plastic collection, and the company and the farmers to which it caters have seen incredible benefits.
“Farmers have lots of plastic,” said Chris Kerfeld, owner of Blue Lake Plastics in Sauk Centre, an organization that has influenced the recycling success.
Revolution Plastics started collecting agricultural plastic in 1996 and soon a number of farms heard of the new way to get rid of plastic. Fast forward to 2017, the company noticed the need for recycling resources for these farmers, so they expanded.
Price Murphy, director of operations at Revolution Plastics, believes that distributing these dumpsters around the Midwest will not only make farmers’ lives easier, but will also help to make them more eco-friendly.
Here’s how it works:
Revolution Plastic distributes a dumpster to each farm in need of the resource. Instead of farmers piling up mountains of plastic or making several trips to the landfill, they just have to put waste in the dumpster.
“It is free to all farmers,” Murphy said. “Once their dumpsters are full, we will come get it and recycle it. It’s that easy.”
As a large company with dumpsters located throughout the country, Murphy and other staff at Revolution Plastics needed someone who has farming experience and knows how to connect with farmers.
Chris Kerfield has worked with Revolution Plastics and the recycling program for a year and a half. As the founder and operator of Blue Lake Plastics in Sauk Center, Kerfield has experience working with plastics in a rural community.
“We were farmers for over 30 years and know what it is like to have lots of plastic on a farm,” Kerfield said. “They want to help by recycling but were very unaware how to do it.”
Kerfield acts as the voice for the farmers by showing them the process Revolution Plastics developed. Blue Lake Plastics also acts as a distribution center for farmers near the Sauk Center area.
Some farms are smaller and don’t qualify for a dumpster. But small farms, such as hobby farms, don’t use as much plastic. Revolution Plastics noticed this problem and came up with a solution.
“Smaller farms can get recapture bags to collect their plastic,” Kerfield said. “They get five recapture bags and once they are filled, Revolution Plastics will come and pick them up.”
In 2017, the company distributed 4,400 dumpsters into Minnesota and North Dakota, collecting nearly 200 million pounds of recyclable material. Through their recycling efforts, farmers are not only being environmentally friendly, but are also saving time and money.
“Through this program, farmers have been saving anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 a year,” Murphy said. “They can use that money for their products rather than the plastic.”
In Otter Tail County alone, the company has collected 8,200 pounds of plastic. “People in the community have responded well,” Murphy said. “Farmers have a way to do the right thing by recycling their plastics.”
Murphy and Kerfield agree that they have received nothing but positive responses from farmers. Like anything, there are bound to be skeptics about the efficiency of the process, but Kerfield still gets calls daily asking for the bags.
“People wonder when a new thing enters a small town,” Kerfield said. “Once people hear about it, they are open to it, and end up doing it.”
Revolution Plastics is helping farmers by providing them with an environmentally friendly alternative to dispose of their agricultural plastic. As farms grow and recycling increases, the importance of safe alternatives for agriculture plastic is important.
“It’s flexible,” Murphy said. “By collecting farmer’s plastic, we are able to make new products and use that plastic to the fullest. It is a win for us and farmers.”
To learn more about incorporating Revolution Plastics recycling bins, call Price Murphy at 844-490-7873 or visit www.revolutionplastics.com.
By Peri Lapp
Source, credits & more information: FergusFallsJournal