Agricultural Plastics Recycling
Coming of Age in North Carolina!

Welcome to NC agricultural plastics recycling! Now it is possible to recycle your old pots, hoop house film and drip tape. Sending your discarded agricultural plastics to a recycler saves you money, creates jobs in the recycling industry in North Carolina and helps you market a greener business.

Over 3,200 tons of discarded agricultural plastics have been recycled in NC, saving growers more than $135,000 in disposal fees. Also, more than $393,000 has been paid to growers by recyclers. Read on and learn how to market a greener business and save money!

Recycling Plant Pots and Flats

In this video, Ariel Montanez describes how Pender Nursery successfully recycled their  accumulation of pots to create efficient yard space.


Recycling Hoop House Film

Mark Gantt of Hefner’s nursery has been recycling for many years.  Watch the short video on his thoughts and approach to recycling.

  • Truckload quantities? A recycler will pick it up for free and you save on those tipping fees!
  • Roll up that old drip tape, secure it to a pallet, now call a recycler and save on tipping fees.
  • Too much overwintering film to reuse? Recycle it!
  • Mixed pots and flats can be recycled. Some recyclers can offer payment for truckload quantities or haul them away for free if you live close to the recycler.
  • Secure all those growing media bags to a pallet. Put them on the truck with your other plastics to make a full load.
  • In May 2012, the NC Nursery & Landscape Association teamed up with the NC Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Waste Reduction Partners and the NC Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service to explore opportunities to recycle discarded agricultural plastics.
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Ag Mulch Film Retrieval and Recycling Pilot Shows Savings

With support of the Tobacco Trust Fund, the NC Ag Plastic Recycling team conducted trials of novel mulch film retrieval equipment to lift and roll film more efficiently with less labor and more cleanly so it can be recycled. Initial labor saving is estimated at $100/acre.   View slideshow


Benefits of Recycling

  • Reduced disposal fees and in some cases potential additional income.

  • Diverting material from the landfill onto more productive purposes – recycling creates far more jobs in the economy than disposal.

  • Customer appreciation for marketing a green product.

  • Cleans up your yard and creates more space.

Interactive Map of Recyclers

Click on a green icon to find details of a recycler near you.

Energy Audits for Rural Small Businesses and Farm Operations

USDA – Rural Energy Assistance Program

Rural small businesses and farms can request an energy efficiency assessment by Waste Reduction Partners.  The energy assessment will identify cost effective energy saving measures that can be pursued by your business.  WRP’s team of energy professionals has received funding support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to perform energy efficiency assessments at qualifying rural small businesses and farms in North Carolina.  The assessments can also be used by the business as part of a grant or loan application through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program.     

Who is Eligible for an Energy Audit?

Rural small businesses, as defined by the Small Business Administration, are eligible for a subsidized energy assessment.   See the Small Business Association website to determining if you meet the small business definition.  Rural is defined as communities less than 50,000 in population.  Input your address on the USDA Property Eligibility site to make sure your business is rural.   Your business’s  total energy costs must be greater the $10,000 per year to qualify for this audit program. 

What is an Energy Audit?

The energy audit is an on-site assessment and written report which provides a preliminary cost/benefit analysis of recommended energy efficiency measures for your business along with financing suggestions.  The WRP energy audit will begin with a utility bill analysis and survey of all major energy-using equipment for efficiency opportunities. WRP engineers typically identify no- and low-cost energy efficiency measures that can save 10 to 20 percent of your total bill.
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Who Will Perform My Energy Audit?

An experienced energy engineer from Waste Reduction Partners will conduct your energy audit. Waste Reduction Partners is a team of 60 staff and volunteer retired engineers who have provided over 1,800 energy and waste reduction assessments to businesses, industries, and institutions across North Carolina. This work has resulted in over $50.1 million in utility cost savings.

Who is Paying for this Energy Audit?

WRP estimates that the total audit cost is valued at $1,300 for a small business and $1,100 for a farm.  The USDA Energy Audit Program supports 3/4 of the cost of this assessment.  The remaining 25% is funded by the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  As a result, the audit is provided at no cost to you.

How to Apply for an Energy Audit?

Click on Initiate a Project and submit the requested information or contact Russ Jordan, WRP Energy Manager.


Frequently Asked Questions list can answer all your questions about your business’s eligibility, the energy audit process, its value, and auditor qualifications as well as project implementation assistance.


For more information or questions about eligibility, please contact Russ Jordan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 828 251-7477.    


       Funding Partner


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