After eight years of collecting nursery and greenhouse film on a seasonal basis, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) is implementing "for the first time" a year-round collection program in an effort to encourage more growers to recycle their used white and clear film.
According to the NJDA, New Jersey continues to be a leader in the recycling of nursery and greenhouse film, which is plastic that is used to cover greenhouses for environmental control and hoop houses for over-wintering of nursery material.
"This recycling program gives the agricultural community the opportunity to protect the environment by keeping these plastics out of the waste stream and putting them back into a beneficial use," said New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus. "Not only does the program save growers money from higher tipping fees at landfills, recycling this material saves valuable landfill space."
Since the film-recycling program was initiated in 1997, growers have recycled almost 3.3 million lbs. of film. During the 2004 program, growers recycled almost 256 tons of used film, a slight increase from 2003.
Both white and clear nursery film and clear multi-season (two-year, three-year and four-year) greenhouse covers can be recycled. Film must be free of lathing, staples and saran. Loads containing other agricultural plastics, such as bags, mulch film, shrink film, stretch film, drip irrigation or ground cover film, will be rejected at the collection sites.
Vehicles used to transport the greenhouse and nursery film intra or interstate are not required to be licensed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as long as the used film is transported directly to one of the two collection sites participating in New Jersey's nursery and greenhouse film recycling program.
The two regional sites that will accept film year-round are the Burlington County Occupational Training Center in Mt. Holly and the Cumberland County Solid Waste Complex in Deerfield. Out-of-state growers can take their used film to the Mt. Holly site, whereas the Cumberland site will only accept New Jersey growers' film. For details about the locations, hours and fees, visit the NJDA Web site at www.state.nj.us/agriculture/recyclingpestcons.htm .