MOOSE JAW, SK (April 29, 2002) — Cleanfarms’ Saskatchewan Program Advisor, Tammy Shields, has been recognized as a pioneer in agricultural recycling for her ground-breaking work establishing grain bag recycling in Saskatchewan.
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council (SWRC) presented its 2022 prestigious Waste Minimization Award to Ms. Shields on April 28 at its annual Waste ReForum conference. The award honours an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to waste reduction in the province.
“When we looked at how agricultural plastics recycling has evolved in this province, Tammy Shields was a key driver. Everyone who is involved in recycling grain bags in Saskatchewan has benefited from her dedication,” said SWRC Executive Director Joanne Fedyk.
A native of Saskatchewan, Shields lives in Moose Jaw. Her education as an agrologist and her career path put her in fields with farmers, in municipal council chambers with elected representatives, at landfill sites with attendants and in board rooms with corporate executives. If the discussion involved agricultural sustainability, Shields took on the task and was equally comfortable in all those settings. Well known for her environmentally-focused work among her peers, Shields also served as a director of the SWRC and worked with the Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards.
Under Tammy’s leadership, the Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards was the first watershed group to tackle household hazardous waste as well as agricultural plastics. That early effort resulted in the recycling of more than 450 tonnes of grain bag plastic.
“Tammy committed a lot of time to learning about all aspects of the agricultural plastics industry and is always willing to share her knowledge and learn from others to balance the producers concerns and protecting the environment. I do believe that she was one of the pioneers for where we are today in keeping ag plastics out of landfills or being disposed of on farm. Tammy so rightly deserves to be recognized for her contribution to the plastic recycling program in Saskatchewan,” said John Kindrachuk, executive director of the Redberry Lake Biosphere Region.
Shields is widely considered to be the “go-to” expert on grain bag recycling and it was that reputation that led Cleanfarms to invite her to join the team in 2017 as the stewardship organization was developing a product stewardship program plan for the grain bag industry under the province’s new regulation.
“Tammy kick-started grain bag recycling in Saskatchewan and is the driving force behind the province’s strong track record for responsible management of these items. It didn’t matter if farmers used three grain bags or three hundred, Tammy had time to work with everyone,” said Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen. “Her passion for agriculture combined with her dedication to promoting sustainability made her an ideal recipient for this award. We are very proud of her.”
Today, Shields not only oversees 45 grain bag recycling collection sites in Saskatchewan, she is also helping to organize grain bag and other ag plastic recycling in Alberta and Manitoba.
Cleanfarms is an agricultural industry stewardship organization that contributes to a healthier environment and a sustainable future by recovering and recycling agricultural and related industry plastics, packaging and products. It is funded by its members in the crop protection, seed, fertilizer, animal health medication and grain bag industries. It has staff located in Lethbridge, Alberta; Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Etobicoke, Ontario; and St-Bruno, Quebec.
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