Toro Co., a manufacturer of drip irrigation systems in addition to lawn mowers and snow throwers, has partnered with the recycling firm Revolution Plastics to reclaim plastic products from farm fields in California's central coast region.
To entice farmers to try Revolution's free pickup service, Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro is giving away a pallet of its low density polyethylene drip tape to those who recycle 25,000 pounds of any brand product through Oct. 31 and buy 480 reels of Toro drip tape.
Drip irrigation delivers reservoir and well water to the roots of plants at low pressure and low volume, which uses water more efficiently and improves crop yield and quality.
A pallet of Toro drip tape contains 16 reels and is worth about $2,000 on average, depending on wall thickness and internal diameter, Inge Bisconer, manager of Toro's recycling program, said in a phone interview. The 16 reels hold enough tape to irrigate about 10 acres of vegetables or berries.
"We're applying the water very precisely where it is needed — to the crop roots only," Bisconer said. "It's not going all over the place, not into the air or furrows that sink into ground water and generate weeds. It's a wonderful technology. Some farmers have doubled their yield with a third of the resources. You get more crop per drop."
You also get a lot of material that needs to be recycled when the drip tape is replaced. Toro is partnering with Revolution Plastics to collect and recycle the spent tape into trash can liners.
Revolution Plastics is affiliated with Revolution Bags, a sister company of Delta Plastics, which makes and recycles flood irrigation products at three facilities in Little Rock and Stuttgart, Ark. Delta serves growers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri.
Revolution currently is consolidating and baling used agricultural plastic from transfer stations in Ballico and Camarillo, Calif., and shipping it to Arkansas to be recycled into trash bags and other products. However, it is looking for a warehouse site in the Golden State to set up a full operation there.