A lot less used baler twine is being burned or sent to landfills thanks to an Albert Lea, MN, twine manufacturer.

Bridon Cordage established a sister company, Gopher Plastics, to collect, clean and process used plastic baler twine, and Bridon is turning it into a separate product line. Jade Sherman, marketing and sales manager, says Revolver twine is as strong as the company's other twines and is priced the same.

Bridon recently gained certification to ISO 14001, the environmental standard, which cleared the path to begin recycling used baler twine, Sherman adds.

“Our goal is to be a conscientious manufacturer and be on the cutting edge of what's happening in the country,” says Terry Van Kampen, vice president of manufacturing and head of Gopher Plastics. “There's a big green movement going on, and we're trying to be part of it.”

The company contracts with disposal and recycling companies, dairies and dealers to collect the twine and ship it to Gopher Plastics. They put dumpsters at central locations, and farmers fill them with used twine.

Most farmers welcome the disposal option, says Van Kampen. Some have a tough time getting rid of it because landfills increasingly don't want it and burning is illegal.

“It keeps the twine from laying around in piles,” he says.

Gopher Plastics started its collection effort three years ago in California with Central Valley Rolloff & Recycling, Visalia. That company now has about 150 dumpsters, mostly on large dairies, and is one of the biggest collectors. Several other states with areas of heavy twine usage also have collectors, including Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Washington and Pennsylvania.

“We started out with the West, and we're trying to develop collection sites, wherever practical, around the entire U.S.,” says Van Kampen.

Gopher Plastics is focusing on polypropylene twine only, as other ag plastics, such as silage bags and bunker covers, contain polyethylene, Sherman points out.

For more on Revolver twine, log on to www.bridoncordage.com.