Silage wrap & baling twine

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The Illawarra Joint Organisation (IPJO) has partnered with the South Coast and Highlands Dairy Industry Group (DIG) and the Kiama Municipal Council to establish a silage wrap and baling twine recycling project in the Illawarra utilising the Plasback product stewardship scheme for plastics. This follows an initiative taken by the Shoalhaven City Council to provide silage wrap drop off points in the Shoalhaven and to provide seed funding for start up boxes of wrap to Shoalhaven farmers.

For instructions on how to recycle your silage wrap and baling twine click on the plasback logo.

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Brian MacDonald, the IPJO Projects Coordinator said "Left on farm, plastic is a hazard to people, animals and the environment. It can be an eyesore in a region frequented by tourists and can find its way into waterways threatening animals and marine life. Burning plastic is illegal, wasteful and creates harmful emissions. Buried Plastics wastes a resource and occupies valuable land fill. Plastic often becomes the responsibility of Councils when it is found as litter or illegally dumped on public land."

Over 100,000 tonnes of plastic is used on Australian farms each year. Very little is recycled. There are 35 dairy farms in the Kiama and Shellharbour LGAs most with herds of 200 or less and a few with herds of over 300. Most dairy farms use silage (the quantity is influenced by seasonal factors) and have to dispose of the associated wrap and baling twine.

It is estimated that on average a local dairy farm will produce 0.5 tonne of silage wrap per annum. For the Illawarra this equates to around 18 tonne per annum. Other plastic products and bale twine would add to this estimate.

IPJO with the financial support of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has assisted Kiama Council to purchase a baler to compact silage and twine that is bagged and deposited by local farmers at the our Minnamurra Recycling Facility. Southern Councils Group has also purchased bags for distribution by the Dairy Industry Group to local farmers to encourage a proactive approach to the recycling of used silage wrap and twine by all members of the dairy industry.

We will make Minnamurra Recycling Facility available to receive bags of silage wrap and twine from farmers across the Illawarra (predominately Kiama and Shellharbour areas). The Facility will receive the bags on the same days as drumMuster collections (first Monday of the month) and will provide quality control checks and storage of product. We will then compact the bags of wrap and twine and transport them to Sydney where the plastic will be recycled into a range of products.

Silage wrap and baling twine must be as clean as possible and packed into a Plasback bag which can be purchased through CRT, Bomaderry Country Store, 36 Bolong Road, Bomaderry NSW 2541.