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Pennsylvania launches plastic recycling pilot program

The goal of available funding is to strengthen agricultural plastic recycling systems by facilitating local initiatives within the agriculture and recycling communities.

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding has announced funding is available for interested parties to develop a sustainable agricultural plastics recycling program. The Agricultural Plastics Recycling Project (APRP) is designed to assist Pennsylvania farmers in better managing used agricultural plastics.  

"Agricultural plastics are often single-use items that serve a specific, initial purpose, but eventually become a waste product," Redding says. "Landfilling plastics is both an expense and an environmental hazard. Recycling agricultural plastics through programs like APRP is both an environmental and economic choice. It allows resources to be reused without cost, making it a win for farmers and the environment."  

APRP is a statewide pilot program focused on Adams, Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry counties.

The program is designed to develop and strengthen agricultural plastic recycling systems by facilitating local initiatives within the agriculture and recycling communities. It also seeks to integrate existing materials management infrastructure and find markets for recovered agricultural plastic. Examples include silage bags, bunker silo covers, bale wraps and twines, hoop house covers, planting trays and containers, row covers and mulch films.

APRP is made possible through funding secured from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The grants do not require matching funds, and payment of grant funds will occur on a reimbursement basis. An advance payment option may be available with written submission of justification and subsequent approval from the department.

Proposals must be submitted online using the Department of Community and Economic Development's Electronic Single Application. The deadline for proposals is July 8 at 5 p.m. Applicants who have questions may contact Jessica Lenker at 717-772-5212 or jeslenker@pa.gov.