Officials in Ontario know that disposing of agricultural bale wrap is a problem in their province. Six million pounds of bale wrap headed for a landfill or being burned is an environmental issue that needs a solution, they say.
``Bale wrap is a high-quality plastic ... that people can do something with,'' said David Milliner, environmental services manager for Southgate Township in Ontario. ``We've searched around for a way to get rid of this material.''
Now, officials believe they have just the answer.
An Ontario company, Think Plastics Inc., will be in full production by early September as it extrudes recycled white polyethylene bale wrap and greenhouse film into products like fencing and profiles to be used in horse stalls.
The product will be marketed as Baleboard.
The firm is working in conjunction with Southgate Township, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Agricultural Adaptation Council; the AAC provided some funding to Think.
Officials secured a 16,000-square-foot facility in May in New Hamburg, Ontario, where they are finalizing the plant infrastructure.
They will start with one extrusion line and six employees. So far, they've established 23 collection sites in Ontario and more are being added regularly.
``Right now, it's being landfilled or it's being burned,'' Lisa Lackenbauer, vice president of Think Plastics, said in a July 19 telephone interview. ``And some landfills don't even accept it anymore. Some charge tipping fees to farmers. It's just a huge problem.''
Lackenbauer co-owns Think Plastics with husband Chuck Sparks. They also own C.S. Plastic Services Inc. of Waterloo, Ontario. That company buys and refurbishes extrusion equipment.