Community service is sometimes weighty – like the 50,000 pounds of baling twine hauled from the La Plata County Fairgrounds Tuesday afternoon after the Rockin’ Riders 4-H Club members began collecting it four years ago.
In 2012, the club started accruing used twine, which is typically buried or taken to a landfill, from farms all over the county to raise money for the La Plata County Horse Council and the 4-H Club. The goal was to collect a truckload, for which Minnesota-based twine manufacturing company Bridon Cordage promised to pay $4,500.
“It’s been a pretty big project,” said Emma Van Dyck, who was the 14-year-old club president when the project started. “Between kids and parents, we’ve probably had about 30 picking up twine all over the county.”
She was even picking some up Tuesday before the truck arrived to take it off the club’s hands. It was all loaded into a truck trailer in rusty heaps by a forklift on Tuesday, bound for Minnesota where Bridon Cordage will recycle the material into refurbished twine.
Now 18 and in her last year with 4-H, Van Dyck said she stuck with it because of the enormous show of support throughout the community and because she thinks a recycling project like this makes a difference.
Baling twine is made of polypropylene, which doesn’t decompose, so it’s better off recycled and reused.
“I think we’ve made a huge difference,” Van Dyck said. “And I really hope after I leave someone will keep this going.”