Silage waste wrapped up
THERE’S only one downside to a bumper growing season – what to do with all that plastic wrap once the silage has been fed to the cows?
Rather than sending it straight to landfill, local councils have made it easier for farmers to recycle the used plastic in a cost effective and efficient manner.
Dairy Australia natural resource management technical specialist for Gippsland, Gillian Hayman, said turning used silage wrap into something useful was a win for both farmers and the wider community.
“Farmers are looking for a way to dispose of their silage wrap in a simple and responsible manner, so recycling at local transfer stations is a great option,” she said.
Gillian said Bena dairy farmers Toby and Nick Leppin were good examples of how using the recycling system can streamline the disposal of silage wrap.
“Toby and Nick will be feeding out hundreds of silage bales to their dairy herd this season, so rather than send the wrap to landfill, the Leppins collect clean wrap in bulka bags and deliver it to Drouin Waste Recyclers. From there it is transported to Melbourne to be recycled into useful items,” she said.
Those useful items include irrigation/dam linings, trickle irrigation and low pressure pipe, roadside/garden furniture, plastic pallets and vineyard stakes/oyster poles as well as Tuffboard (a timber replacement product that can be sawn, hammered and drilled).
While different shire councils have differing arrangements for silage wrap collection, the general requirements are as follows:
• as much silage and other foreign matter as possible must be removed from plastic;
• plastic should be shaken or wiped (no washing required);
• no contamination with bale strings and net wrap;
• no contamination with steel, wood, dead animals, etc; and
• store the plastic film in a dry area, if possible.
Local councils offer the following silage collection services:
Baw Baw Shire: drop off silage wrap in bulka bags to Drouin Waste Recyclers – open six days. They accept silage wrap all year round, but prefer the wrap to be dropped off in the last week of each month. Cost of $10 plus per bulka bag. www.drouinwaste.com.au
Phone: 5625 5252, 81 Weerong Road, Drouin.
Latrobe Shire: drop off silage wrap in bulka bags only to Morwell Transfer Station (8am – 2pm Monday – Friday). Cost of $15 plus per bulka bag. Contact Rosa at LaTrobe Waste and Recycling, 0418 260 466.
South Gippsland Shire: the Foster and Koonwarra transfer stations collect clean silage wrap in Plasback liners.
Wellington Shire: the system is currently under review.
Bass Coast Shire: silage wrap is received in Plasback bags at the Grantville landfill site for recycling.
Plasback liners and bins for collection and storage of silage can be purchased from Murray Goulburn stores and some other rural produce outlets.
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