Grain bags headache for RMs

Rural municipalities don’t want to deal with the environmental headache of used grain bags.

“Some producers are very responsible and clean up their bags and recycle, and we appreciate that,” said Lorne Scott, reeve of the RM of Indian Head.

“But others choose to leave their bags, burn them, bury them in sloughs, coulees, bush and whatever.”

The RM wants the province to pass legislation allowing RMs to properly dispose of grain bags when farmers neglect to do so and provide a means for recouping the disposal costs.

“It is time that retailers and users of grain bags, not the RM, be responsible for funding a proper grain bag disposal program,” Scott told delegates attending the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities annual convention.

The proposed resolution didn’t sit well with one delegate, who said the few bushels of leftover grain in the grain bags could cause a rat problem in the RM yards, which are typically located in towns.

“I don’t think we want to go there,” he said.

“How do you go onto somebody’s property and pick up grain bags? I don’t think this is something the RMs want to get involved in.”

The resolution was defeated, but another put forward by the RM of Torch River passed. It asked SARM to lobby the province to implement a refundable deposit program run by grain bag retailers.

“In the RM of Torch River, it is almost impossible for us to dispose of our grain bags because it is over a 100 kilometre drive just to get them some place that might or might not take them. At the moment, they’re not taking them,” said a spokesperson for the RM.

“We feel that it’s about time that the producers of this stuff start picking up their own mess.”

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