The producers, the MRC Haut-Saint-Laurent and AgriRÉCUP/Cleanfarms join forces to achieve a “Zero Ag-Plastic Waste” strategy for Quebec

Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC (June 21, 2021) – Over the past few months, the MRC (regional county municipalities) Haut-Saint-Laurent, in conjunction with Cleanfarms (Agrirecup in French), have been working to implement a pilot project to recover ag plastics in the region.  The MRC’s farmers are playing a leading role in the pilot, helping to implement a “zero ag-plastic waste” strategy in Quebec’s agricultural sector.

“The MRC Haut-Saint-Laurent is proud to help reduce the environmental footprint of farmers by developing, in conjunction with Cleanfarms, ecological solutions for the recovery of agricultural plastics, both here and elsewhere in Quebec,” said Louise Lebrun, Prefect of MRC Haut-Saint-Laurent.

Better manage on-farm plastics disposal

Operating a livestock farm involves growing and harvesting silage and hay for livestock feed. These forages are wrapped and stored, often for months, requiring the use of film, tarps and silo bags, twine and netting. All in all, this represents a significant amount of plastic, calculated in tonnes. Typically, used plastic ends up in landfills or is burned on the farm.

“The common thread linking farmers in the MRC Haut-Saint-Laurent to those already participating in similar pilot projects across the province is the management of these materials when they are no longer needed. Used ag plastics are difficult to process on the farm, but we know that farmers support finding solutions to manage them in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Cleanfarms’ Manager of Eastern Canada, Christine Lajeunesse. “The goal of our pilot projects is to work with MRCs and farmers to identify and develop effective systems to recover these materials for recycling. At the same time, this optimizes Quebec’s circular economy.’’

Recovery: a practice to be integrated

The pilot project offers farmers two management options to recover their ag plastics:

  1. Collection bags

Farmers simply place each type of plastic separately in Cleanfarms collection bags which are available at participating collection sites.

  1. Ag plastic press

This tool allows farmers to compress between 200 and 250 plastic film items such as bale wrap or tarps into bales. When compressed, the bales weigh roughly 450 kg.

Farmers who use the on-farm press report positive results noting that it makes it easier to handle the plastics. Also, the plastics stay cleaner and meet recyclers’ quality criteria. The press also saves time; for example, farmers make fewer trips to the collection sites.

With both methods, it is important that farmers not mix the types of plastic as this is a criterion for success in recycling.

Participating means doing your part!

In addition to MRC Haut-Saint-Laurent’s involvement, other stakeholders contribute to the pilot project. They are UPA of Haut-Saint-Laurent UPA, BMR Unbag in Sainte-Martine and the municipalities of Saint-Anicet and Hinchinbrooke, not to mention the participation of other municipalities in the MRC.

Interested farmers can return full collection bags or compressed bales to the following three collection sites as of June 15.

    5001 Route 132, Saint-Anicet
    Monday to Friday | 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    195 Sainte-Marie Street, Sainte-Martine
    Monday to Friday | 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    315, route 202, Hinchinbrooke
    Occasional collections every second Wednesday of the month.

Note that the first collection will take place on Wednesday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cleanfarms collection bags to fill with ag plastics are available to farmers at Hinchinbrooke Town Hall and Garage, Elgin and Godmanchester Town Halls and Franklin Garage. 

About Cleanfarms

Cleanfarms is a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental responsibility through the sound management of agricultural inorganic waste. Ag plastics recovery programs are offered across Canada and emulated internationally.

The MRC Haut-Saint-Laurent ag-plastics recovery project is part of a series of pilot projects conducted by Cleanfarms with a view to implementing a permanent program throughout Quebec. Cleanfarms receives financial support from the MELCC for its projects.

Learn more at:



Christine Lajeunesse

Emilie Escafit
MRC Haut-Saint-Laurent
450-264-5411 ext. 225