Every entrepreneurial adventure starts out as just an idea.
For Dallon Leger, a 26-year-old grain farmer from Canora, Saskatchewan, that idea came after looking for an environmentally friendly and convenient method for disposing of plastic grain bags. Though there were recycling options available, Dallon found that, like many producers, he did not have the time to roll and transport grain bags to collection sites. And from there, EcoGenX Agriculture Recycling was founded.
Launched in March 2017, EcoGenX aims to divert the amount of grain bags that are burned or buried by providing on-farm collection of the plastic waste across Saskatchewan.
“We wanted to create a unique system that works with the farmer, on the farm, to get this plastic picked up,” explains Dallon, owner of EcoGenX.
Equipped with his pickup truck and a 30-foot trailer, Dallon, along with four friends who joined him to make EcoGenX a reality, started travelling to farms to roll and haul grain bags for proper disposal. Their efforts paid off, with the EcoGenX team collecting more than one million pounds of grain bags in their first year of business.
“We thought there was a problem with grain bags, but we didn’t realize how much of a problem there actually was,” says Dallon. “Farmers want to do the right thing, but we also know farmers are busy. By collecting one million pounds with a single truck and trailer in our first year, I think that proves that farmers want to be more environmentally sustainable.”
At the moment, the collected grain bags are being stored for future recycling while EcoGenX works to establish a processing facility in Canora. The facility, which Dallon hopes will be operational by fall 2018, will alleviate the need to ship the plastic waste overseas for processing, as is commonly done, while creating a new local product and employment opportunities.
“We figure, why export overseas if we can do it here and support our own people,” Dallon explains, adding the facility will eventually be able to accommodate a variety of agricultural plastics. “We are creating a brand new industry in the province that hasn’t been here – it’s pretty exciting.”
As a proud Agriculture More Than Ever partner, understands the importance of contributing to Canada’s agriculture story, particularly when it comes to addressing some of the negative perceptions about the industry.
“I wasn’t a farmer growing up. But I fell in love with agriculture, and it grew to become a part of my life. That’s why I talk to people daily about agriculture because I want people to know and appreciate what agriculture is about,” explains Dallon.
“With what (EcoGenX is) doing, I’m hoping that we can change some of the negative perceptions about agriculture, or at least give people a sense of hope that we are doing something good as a whole agriculture industry.”
For more information on EcoGenX visit: www.ecogenx.com.