Michigan legislation aims to expand recycling in the state

Michigan legislation aims to expand recycling in the state

An executive directive aims to improve recycling efforts at the state’s government agencies.

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September 18, 2019

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive Sept. 17 designed to improve and expand recycling efforts in the state. According to the executive directive, “recycling and other sustainable materials management practices are vital to protecting Michigan’s environment and public health.”

The executive directive states that in recent years, the state has made “concerted efforts to establish a plan for tracking and improving recycling and waste management practices in facilities owned, managed or leased by the state. These efforts have increased the amount of materials recycled by the state, improved the state’s recycling and waste management data and produced a framework for state agencies to meet their individualized recycling needs.” 

However, the executive directive notes that the state is behind neighboring states when it comes to its overall recycling efforts. To tackle this challenge, Michigan’s executive order reports that the state will “reaffirm its commitment to improving recycling rates and reducing waste contamination” and “it must redouble its efforts to develop and implement effective recycling and waste management practices for its facilities.” 

The state plans to take the following actions as a result of this executive directive:

  • The Department of Technology, Management and Budget shall coordinate, monitor and report on the implementation of this directive and the state’s recycling program. The department will provide progress reports to the governor every six months, with the first report due March 1, 2020. The department will make the reports available to the public on its website.
  • The department, in conjunction with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) shall review the current status of the state’s recycling program and shall identify and develop policies and procedures to expand and improve upon the program and its utilization by state employees. This will include evaluation of current efforts to educate and engage state employees regarding available recycling services and recycling best practices.
  • The department will ensure each department and agency has up-to-date information about the implementation of this directive and the state’s recycling program, including all information necessary to ensure that the department or agency is able to comply with this directive and participate in the state’s recycling program as fully as possible.
  • The department, in conjunction with EGLE, will provide an annual report to the governor regarding the pounds of materials disposed of and pounds of materials recycled statewide, to the extent practical. The first such report will be due March 1, 2021. The department will make the reports available to the public on its website.
  • Each department and agency shall confirm with the Department of Technology, Management and Budget a point of contact for their department; review their existing inventory of facilities and identify opportunities to expand or improve on the effectiveness and utilization of recycling services offered at those facilities.
  • If a department director or agency head believes that providing recycling services at certain facilities may not be feasible, he or she may submit to the director of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget a written request for exemption, stating the reasons for the request. 

According to the executive directive, the ruling goes into effect immediately.