Grain bags are often used as a form of storage for harvested crops, and can often be seen from highways sitting near the edge of fields.

While farmers have been using those grain bags for a long while, many have had to come up with creative uses for them, as they tend to take up a lot of space.

That's no longer the case though, as a program is set up across the prairies to help facilitate the recycling of those bags.

Barry Friesen, the Executive Director of Cleanfarms, says Saskatchewan has been at the forefront of agriculture recycling.

"Saskatchewan has been a leader in grain bags, both in use and as well they were the first province to start up a recycling program. It's a government-regulated program, however, we are a private sector company, we are not for profit, and we collect grain bags at 44 locations across the province. Farmers can drop their grain bags after they've been used, drop them off free of charge, and we take them and recycle them into new products."

The recycling program wasn't just good for farmers - it also helped out a lot for the prairie environment.

"It was quite a challenge because these are very large pieces of plastic as any farmer who uses them knows, they're a great product to use, but once they're empty, what do you do with them?" said Friesen, "They're a lot of plastic, they fill up landfills, they're not easy to burn - it's not a good thing to burn them anyway. So once the program came on board it solved a real problem for them not just for the farmer but also for the environment."

The program has been a big hit according to Friesen who explains they've been getting a whole lot of bags in.

"We're now collecting 63% of all grain bags that go into the market," said Friesen, "We're tracking fairly well. We've collected over 2,000 tons of the material. Last year for the whole year we collected 2,500 tons. The year is not up yet, so we're still continuing to collect. We're not sure where we'll end up, but I'm pretty sure that we'll get the same collection rate that we had last year."

Cleanfarms isn't just grain bag recycling - they also offer other recycling services, including a pair of pilot projects in Saskatchewan.

"We've started a pilot program to collect twine throughout Saskatchewan as well, we already run our container program for pesticide and fertilizer containers, from typical 10-litre containers to all the way up to 100-litre tanks," said Friesen, "We're going to be starting a seed and pesticide bag program very soon, we're already operating a pilot program in Saskatchewan."

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