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The agricultural community will once again have two opportunities to drop off their used agricultural film plastic in October through a free program sponsored by Otsego County Department of Solid Waste, Casella Waste Services, Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Otsego County Conservation Association.

The collections will take place on Thursday, October 11 at the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown, and on Saturday, October 13 at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta. The time for both days is 8am-11am.

“We’re very pleased to be able to provide this opportunity to remove this material from our waste stream once again,” said Karen Sullivan, Director for the Otsego County Solid Waste Department.

Acceptable film plastics include bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, and greenhouse cover. Plastic must be relatively clean and dry, and sorted according to type.

“We’re not asking for off-the-roll clean, but an effort needs to be made to shake off excess feed and dirt,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “Dirt can damage processing machinery and lead to impurities in the reprocessed material.”

Not accepted in this collection are wood pellet or wood shavings bags.

“Unfortunately, the recyclers we work with do not want our wood pellet bags,” O’Handley said. “However, these bags are accepted in the plastic bag collection bins at stores like Hannaford and Price Chopper, provided they are clean and empty.”

Plastic is compressed into bales weighing 1000-pounds by a machine operated by Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District staff. From there, it is shipped to a recycler and processed into pellets that are used for a variety of products, including plastic lumber or bags. Since 2013, Otsego County has shipped more than 70 tons of agricultural plastic for recycling.

“For the fourth year in a row, the District is happy to provide this free service that keeps this plastic waste from our landfills,” said Jordan Clements, District Manager of the Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District.

The agricultural plastic collection is free, though pre-registration is requested. Contact Jeff O’Handley, Otsego County Conservation Association at (607) 282-4087 for more information.

Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, research, resource management, advocacy, planning and practice. For more information, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

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