Support state efforts to increase recycling and reduce waste

A new executive directive was signed by Governor Snyder in February 2018 to reduce waste and increase Michigan’s recycling rate. These efforts can help protect the environment and stimulate the economy.

December 4, 2018 - Author: Terry Gibb, Michigan State University Extension

Outline of someone recycling.

Governor Snyder signed an Executive Directive on February 2, 2018, as part of his five tenet effort to increase recycling. This is the state’s second initiative to increase recycling and cut down on waste at all levels. The first efforts to increase recycling came out in 2014.

Michigan’s current recycling rate is 15 percent, which is half the national average and tremendously lower than some neighboring states who have 35 percent recycling rates. The state’s goal with this new statewide plan is to double its recycling rate to 30 percent by 2025.

One reason for the lack of emphasis on recycling and reuse is that Michigan has sufficient landfill space which means lower disposal rates. This leads to complacency on everyone’s part, including governments, businesses and residents.

The state’s plan focuses on five tenets to boost recycling:

  1. State government will lead by example.
  2. A campaign will emphasize education for both residents and businesses on the importance of recycling.
  3. The state’s market development will increases its efforts to turn recyclables into new produces made in Michigan.
  4. The state’s solid waste laws will be updated to shift to a statutory and regulatory program that focuses on recycling and reusing over disposal as much as possible.
  5. Long-term funding for these efforts will be secured.

To increase these efforts, the state of Michigan awarded grants to two of its largest cities, Detroit and Warren, to purchase recycling containers to encourage residents to think about recycling rather than throwing materials into the trash container.

Part of Tenet 3, Re:Source, an effort supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, provides tools to businesses to spur recycling efforts and innovation for making connections to manage the supply and demand of recycled commodities. One of the new tools developed is a Recycled Materials Market Directory. The directory provides a searchable list of companies buying and selling recycled materials.

These efforts make a clear statement that protecting Michigan’s environment is good for Michigan’s economy. It remains to be seen what efforts are carried over by the new governor. However, residents don’t need a state directive to begin to look at their buying habits and disposal patterns to help increase their own recycling and reusing rates.

The holidays are a great time for you to expand your recycling and reusing practices at your home.

Tags: business, family, government, msu extension, natural resources


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