Recycled Bailing Twine

Recycled Bailing Twine

The Fort Collins Conservation District works to maintain and improve water, soil, and wildlife resources in our area by providing technical and educational resources to support conservation practices.  While they diligently work on issues like soil erosion, water quality and reducing the spread of noxious weeds, one staffer had an eye on a unique recycling project.  Through her research, Laura Tyler, a district conservation technician discovered strong interest throughout the communities in our district for a place where people could take bailing twine to be recycled.  This product is used to bind animal feed products like hay and straw.

Most of the used baling twine in Larimer County ends up in a landfill. Much of it piles up on landowners’ property, or is burned. It is unsafe to burn the polypropylene twine due to the toxic fumes emitted. A more serious problem is that wildlife and domestic animals can ingest the twine and become seriously ill or die. When large bales are fed to cattle and the twine is not completely removed, remaining pieces can quickly kill a cow by creating an indigestible ball in their gut. The twine also poses an especially deadly strangling hazard to birds whether it is on the ground or after they have built it into their nests. In 2010, University of Montana researchers reported that baling twine entangled and killed about ten percent of osprey chicks annually in the state.

The Fort Collins Conservation District recently started a baling twine recycling program in response to landowner requests. The baling twine is used on almost every bale of hay in Larimer County. Previously, this twine went to the landfill, but it is 100% recyclable by a company in Minnesota called Bridon Cordage that sends a semi truck to pick it up and also pays market rate for the materials.

Bridon Cordage established a sister company called Gopher Plastics, to collect, clean and process used plastic baling twine, and Bridon is turning it into a separate product line.  They recycle the used twine into their Revolver® brand post-consumer baling twine.  The introduction of Revolver® is a direct response to their customers’ appeals for Bridon Cordage to help clean up the environment.  For more information on Bridon Cordage visit their website

The twine needs to have 8% or less contamination from dirt, stalks, or other non-twine material. The twine should not be knotted or tied - leave strands loose.  There are currently two locations for twine recycling: JAX Ranch & Home, 1000 US Hwy. 287 in Fort Collins and Anderson Ace Hardware, 4104 Jefferson Ave., Wellington.  The Fort Collins Conservation District would like to see these recycling bins at all feed stores in the area so farmers can pick up their feed and recycle their twine all at the same time. For more information, contact Laura at or call the District at 970-221-0611.

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