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For Immediate Release: June 12, 2006
Contact: Lynne Richmond (609) 292-8896   

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus today announced that New Jersey farmers may continue to recycle drip irrigation tape at the Cumberland County Solid Waste Complex, however, the mulch film, silage bags, peat moss bags and crop cover recycling program has been eliminated.

“The agricultural plastics recycling pilot project was an example of the Department’s efforts to expand recycling opportunities for farmers in the hopes of keeping these plastics out of the waste stream, further protecting the environment and possibly defraying farmers’ disposal costs,” said Secretary Kuperus.  “We will continue to search for new recycling opportunities and promote recycling in the agricultural industry.”

According to Steve Wymbs, Executive Director of the Cumberland County Improvement Authority, the market for plastics is extremely strong, yet after shipping numerous test loads none of the vendors were interested in the mulch film, silage bags, peat moss bags and crop cover. 

“The mulch film, silage bags, peat moss bags and crop cover had too much foreign material and it was impossible for the plastics recycling vendor to get a high enough return out of the material,” said Wymbs.  “The farm community did an excellent job in trying to prepare the material for recycling, but it is difficult to remove the dirt and plant material.”

Growers who generate mulch film and other soiled agricultural plastics must now take their material to an authorized solid waste disposal facility. Under New Jersey solid waste regulations, the material cannot be stockpiled on the farm.

In the fall, the Cumberland County Solid Waste Complex will continue to accept farmers’ drip irrigation tape, but it cannot contain any foreign materials.  Farmers must pay a fee of $30 per ton, an almost 50 percent savings in landfill tipping fees.

Farmers interested in recycling their drip irrigation tape can contact the Cumberland County Improvement Authority at 856-825-3700.  Prior to delivery of the drip irrigation tape, all growers must call the Cumberland County Improvement Authority to establish an account with the Authority. Growers using a licensed solid waste hauler must inform the Authority prior to delivery in an effort to maintain proper billing and documentation.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has a strong commitment to ensuring compliance with New Jersey’s mandatory recycling regulations. The Department has developed and/or facilitated several programs to assist Garden State farmers to recycle the plastic generated on their farm operations and reduce their solid waste disposal fees: nursery and greenhouse film recycling program, the plastic pesticide container-recycling program and the recently announced nursery pot-recycling program.  For more information, visit

For questions on the drip irrigation recycling program or the other plastics recycling programs sponsored by the Department, contact the Department's recycling coordinator at (609) 292-5536.