Ecology Center, Recycle Ann Arbor working to influence state recycling policy
DEQ looking for new approaches
“Michigan is known the world over for its terrific natural resources, and we have a long record of environmental stewardship, so it’s a mystery why we have one of the lowest municipal solid waste recycling rates in the Midwest,” according to Bryan Weinert, zero-waste advocate and policy advisor at the Ecology Center and Recycle Ann Arbor. “That’s one reason we welcome the state’s efforts to do some thinking about how to increase recycling in Michigan.”
The state government is looking for new approaches to increase comprehensive recycling in Michigan, following Governor Rick Snyder’s call for action in a special message to the legislature last year, titled Ensuring our Future: Energy and the Environment.
“We must ensure Michigan will be Pure Michigan for years to come, a place our kids will want to live, work and play,” Snyder said in the message.
In addition to broad recommendations about energy policy, land management and other environmental issues, Snyder charged the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to evaluate options and engage stakeholders on upgrades to Michigan's recycling infrastructure and programs.
“As a result, the state is currently receiving input and ideas, and the Ecology Center and Recycle Ann Arbor are engaging in the process,” Weinert said.
Issues likely to be considered include education and technical assistance for recycling agencies, access to recycling opportunities for residents, developing markets for recycled commodities, amendments to the bottle deposit law, and long-term funding mechanisms
Recycle Ann Arbor is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ecology Center, and reducing waste and increasing recycling has always been part of the Ecology Center’s mission. For more information on the statewide process and to learn about ways to get involved, contact Weinert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EcoLink — September 2013 An online publication of the Ecology Center