Saskatchewan woman wins award for her work recycling grain bags
Saskatchewan resident Tammy Shields was honored by the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council (SWRC) in April for her role in recycling grain bags in Saskatchewan.
Shield received the prestigious Waste Minimization Award at SWRC’s annual Waste ReForum conference.
“Waste management and waste diversion is a passion for me and recycling. So to receive such a prestigious award from the SWRC is a great honor and it bodes really well for me and my peers that I feel they really support the work that I do in Saskatchewan,” said Shields.
She first became interested in recycling grain bags while working at home with the Moose Jaw River watershed stewards, where the council heard a lot about grain bag and twine issues. press with farmers who had to manage 300 to 400 pound pieces of plastic.
Shields decided to dig deeper to see if there was an end market or a better way for farmers to manage the bags.
With the help of government and non-government organizations, Shields’ first pilot collection site opened in the Rural Municipality of Caledonia in March 2010.
“I made the leap to CleanFarms nearly five years ago and now celebrate that it’s something I can do every day and have helped growers manage their solid waste management on their farm and especially the grain bags because it’s such a big piece of plastic and now we’ve gone to 47 collections,” said Shields, who is now the Western Region Program Coordinator for CleanFarms.
Since that pilot project in 2010, grain bag recycling sites have grown to 47 collection sites across the province and counting.
Shields’ project has grown to the point that 43 of 47 collection sites are now taking press time. She is also working with a local recycling center to start a micro-pilot project to collect packaging and baler silage.
She added that they try to use local recycling markets when possible. At the moment there are only recycling plants in Alberta, as CleanFarms continues to look for ways to bring work back locally.