Michigan governor introduces statewide recycling initiative

Michigan governor introduces statewide recycling initiative

Newly created Michigan Recycling Council to oversee implementation.

April 15, 2014
Recycling Today Staff

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has announced a statewide plan designed to increase access to residential recycling throughout the state. He has appointed a nine-member Michigan Recycling Council to guide the plan’s implementation.

Snyder announced the recycling initiative during a tour of Monroe, Mich.-based Clean Tech Inc., the state’s largest plastic bottle recycling plant.

“Michigan has a strong tradition of protecting and enhancing its environment,” Snyder said. “But when it comes to recycling, we must do better. Michigan trails other Great Lakes states and much of the nation in residential recycling. It’s a complex challenge, but one that we can address. This plan puts us on the right path.”

According to Snyder, Michigan’s recycling rate for residential household waste is about 15 percent while the national average is 35 percent. A recent study concluded more than $435 million in recyclables in the state are landfilled each year.

The 15-point plan focuses on four key areas:

  • Benchmarking and measuring progress, including developing ways to better track Michigan’s recycling rate and to document the progress of the state’s effort;
  • Public education and technical assistance for communities, as other states report that an informed and supportive public is a key to increasing recycling along with providing tools for local governments to develop local programs;
  • Providing convenient access at the local level; and
  • Developing markets for recycled products using grants and other economic incentives.

The DEQ drafted the plan in cooperation with 45 key stakeholders, including recyclers, landfill operators, manufacturers, waste haulers, bottlers and grocery store operators.

To help grow the recycling industry in Michigan, Snyder also appointed nine members to a newly created Michigan Recycling Council. The members are:

  • Michael Csapo, general manager of the Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County;
  • Jim Frey, CEO and co-founder of Resource Recycling Systems;
  • Linda Gobler, president and CEO of the Michigan Grocers Association;
  • Jim Kulp, operations manager for Clean Tech Inc.;
  • Bill Lobenherz, president of the Michigan Soft Drink Association;  
  • Kerrin O’Brien, executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition;
  • Tonia Olson, director of Government and Community Relations for Granger;
  • Elisa Seltzer, public works director for Emmet County; and
  • Doug Wood, director of the Kent County Department of Public Works.

 All members have been appointed and will serve a two-year term on the council.