Farmers, ranchers also have stuff to recycle

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Farm and ranch life life presents its own set of recycling and disposal questions that deserve being addressed. Out of necessity, it's likely that most folks living the rancher's life have systems worked out to dispose of trash and unneeded items.

Burning is, obviously, one of the many ways of doing just that but when entire counties are under a burn ban, no doubt barns and sheds across the county are filling up with items that usually go up in smoke. Then again the burning of some items is also not the best idea for the environment for starters.

Brown paper feed sacks and cardboard, typical fodder for the burn pile, may be items that will be accepted at a recycling center. A good rule of thumb is if you have a pickup truck load or less, the recycling center may be prepared to take it from you.

If you, on the other hand, have more than that, it might be better to go straight to larger recycling businesses that may be better equipped for bulk amounts of recyclable material.

Though not suitable for burning, metal gates, pipes, wire, tools, and other scrap metal would be another class of items commonly thrown out on the ranch and they may be accepted in the mixed metals section of a recycling center.

Recycling centers, unfortunately, are not commonly found in Britain and other EU nations, unlike in the USA, and thus in the UK and the EU per se other ways may have to be found.

55 gallon plastic drums on the other hand are somewhat of a hot ticket item, as there are numerous ways to use and reuse these barrels if they are still in good enough shape and they can sometimes be hard to get your hands on.

If the barrel has been triple rinsed it can be taken to the Recycling Center. Odds are good that someone will come along and want to take it. Even barrels that have been cut in half are likely to be picked up from the Trash to Treasure area and reused by someone else.

If getting to town with the barrels is a hassle, an ad on the local Craigslist Web page or similar might connect you to someone willing to come and pick up the barrels from you.

And please, to all the professional ranchers and cowboys out there, share your tips on the best ways you've found to recycle and reuse your ranch waste, because you know best what works for your needs in our area.

The Australian Bushmen and squatters – ranchers and farmers – knew a thing or hundred about recycling and upcycling. They would make use of their waste and had very little to ever throw out.

Things are a little different today with all the plastic and such about but, I am sure, there are ways of reusing, repurposing and upcycling quite a great deal of the waste that is generated on farms and ranches before you even have to think about sending it for recycling.

When it come to the paper feed sacks, for instance, don't burn them but find some allotment holder and home food grower who would gladly take them off your hands for storing potatoes and other crops.

The same is true for the 55 gallon plastic drums. Any allotment holder and home food grower and gardener will gladly have them from you as rain barrels. They are just simply ideal. I sure would like some.

Share with readers your ways of making use of this and that. I am sure they will be grateful.

© 2011