Rockin’ Riders 4-H Club members have tied up some loose ends by collecting used baling twine for recycling.
“Ranchers and horse people normally burn or bury twine from hay bales or put it in the landfill,” said club president Emma Van Dyck, 14, who will be a freshman at Bayfield High School in the fall. “But we’re collecting it this year as a community service project, and we’re making some money, too.”
Bridon Cordage, a twine manufacturer in Albert Lea, Minn., will pay 13 cents a pound for used baler twine, which is cleaned and processed to make new polypropylene twine.
When the club has enough twine to fill a semitrailer, the company will send a truck to Durango, Emma said. Members expect to earn $4,500 for a truckload.
Club members began collecting twine in April. They got out the word about the project through fliers to other 4-H clubs and Basin Co-Op, a drop-off point for twine. Also several members of the Rockin’ Riders participate in National Barrel Horse Association races where people they know drop off twine.
Rockin’ Riders club members last week moved twine from the La Plata County Faigrounds to the city of Durango recycling center for storage.
“We have to make way so they can prepare for the county fair,” Emma said.
Joining Emma in the move were Rockin’ Riders members Maddie Shaline, Amy Gallemore, Izzy Riley, Sadie Smith and Abby Boyd.
The Rockin’ Riders is a horse projects club, said adult leader Lisa Marie Jacobs, who is Emma’s mother. All the girls ride and keep horses at the fairgrounds, she said.
Proceeds from the sale of the baling twine will benefit the La Plata County Horse Council, which oversees 4-H horse activities, camps and competitions, Jacobs said.
The club also contributes monetarily for horse rescues, Annie’s Orphans and an adopted family at Christmas, Jacobs said.
“It’s a way to give back in exchange for keeping their horses at the fairgrounds,” Jacobs said.
Bridon Cordage makes sure the used twine contains little extraneous material, Jacobs said. If the load contains hay, baling wire or a stray coffee cup, the collector is docked a certain amount.
The Rockin’ Riders range from 13 to 17 years old, Jacobs said. The club is open to girls and boys 8 to 18 years old.