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Farmers will continue to receive newsprint; Old newspapers make for good livestock bedding

By Fritz Mayer
February 13, 2013

Legislator Cindy Gieger said that only three farmers regularly receive recycled newsprint from Sullivan County transfer stations, and a fourth receives it occasionally. The policy to allow farmers to receive recycled newsprint for no cost was established in 2003.

The policy came about because farmers were having trouble getting traditional livestock bedding material, such as straw. Geiger said the farmers had also purchased equipment to process the newsprint, because it is not simply placed on the floor of the barn, but must first be shredded.

In a previous discussion about this matter, she said there had been a miscommunication. She said the total value of recycled newsprint to the county was about $20,000 to $25,000 per year, and the amount of newsprint that the farmers use is a small fraction of that.

She said in the past the county received a greater amount of money from recycling newsprint, but that had changed because so much printing happens electronically these days.

Gieger read a resolution to her colleagues at a meeting at the government center on February 7, which said, in part, that “the value of recycled newsprint fluctuates and sometimes the value to the county is negligible, and in contrast the value to the county in supporting the agriculture industry is tremendously considerable and constant.”

The legislators on the Agriculture and Sustainability Policy Committee voted unanimously to continue the policy of providing newsprint to the farmers free of charge.