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Michigan and businesses collaborate to gain "recycling and recovery" economy


The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is launching a new initiative to increase recycling in Michigan. It’s called NextCycle Michigan.

EGLE, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, cities, and individual companies have agreed to collaborate on the effort.

Part of the effort uses grants to get cities to increase recycling rates. It’s also giving grants to businesses to use those recycled materials.

“By turning waste materials into new products made here in Michigan, we can achieve our goals of saving resources, protecting our climate, and contributing to the prosperity of Michigan-based companies,” said Liz Browne, EGLE’s director of Materials Management Division.

She added that using recycled materials saves resources, protects the climate, and helps Michigan companies.

The effort has bi-partisan support in the legislature which has already funded some of the grants.

Republican State Senator Wayne Schmidt says because of the pandemic, commercial recycling is down.

“So, it’s critical that we make sure that we’re recycling at home.”

That's encouraged by a media campaign featuring some trash can-raiding raccoons. 

[Raccoon#1] “Oh this stuff could ruin the entire recycling load.”

[Homeowner] “Wow. I had no idea.”

[Raccoon#2] “Chill. We’ll show you the ropes.”

[ANNCR:] “Michigan needs to recycle better. And that changes starts with you.”

The message points viewers to RecyclingRaccoons.org

Browne stated that NextCycle Michigan marks a major accomplishment not seen since Michigan first introduced the bottle deposit law in 1976. 

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
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