Recycling for Better Michigan

Recycling for Better Michigan

Recycling for Better Michigan

Earth Day 2010 finds Michigan struggling mightily to achieve even average performance on one of the simplest, yet most effective, actions citizens can take to improve the environment: recycling.

Michigan badly trails other Great Lakes states and the rest of the country in recycling. It isn’t that Michigan residents enjoy filling landfills. For most households, there simply is no convenient alternative. A Michigan Recycling Partnership study found that only 37% of Michigan residents have access to curbside recycling, the lowest in the Great Lakes region.

Most Michigan residents don’t even realize the state performs so poorly. We tend to look back fondly at the landmark 1976 “bottle bill” requiring deposits on cans and bottles and assume the problem was solved long ago.

In fact, the law continues to do a good job of curbing beverage-container litter, but not much for overall recycling.

Michigan’s recycling rate for municipal solid waste is about 20%. The five neighboring Great Lakes states recycle an average of 30% — and none of them has a bottle law. (The national rate is about 33%.)

It’s time to move beyond the 1970s thinking of the bottle bill and consider a broader solution. Comprehensive recycling would include convenient curbside recycling programs and local drop-off stations. It would include aluminum, paper, glass bottles and plastic containers that now mostly are spilled into landfills and incinerators.

An overwhelming number of Michigan residents, 81%, support a comprehensive, statewide program to make it easier to recycle a whole range of household waste, according to an April 2009 poll. The statewide telephone poll found 57% strongly favored comprehensive recycling and 24% “somewhat” favored it.

Comprehensive recycling would also offer Michigan new business and employment opportunities. Recycling already accounts for some 164,000 jobs in the state, with a payroll of about $4.8 billion. Raising the recycling rate to the average of other Great Lakes states would add as many as 13,000 jobs and $1.8 billion to $3.9 billion in business revenues, according to a recent report by Public Sector Consultants of Lansing.

And comprehensive recycling offers environmental benefits that go beyond the obvious. The latest Public Sector Consultants report found Michigan could cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 2.2 million metric tons annually — the equivalent of eliminating 400,000 cars from the state’s roads — simply by upping its recycling rate to the Great Lakes state average.

Michigan can — and should — do better.

Bonnie Bochniak is chairperson of the Michigan Recycling Partnership.

No related content found.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Recycling for Better Michigan”

  1. I recently identified this short article although I was in fact managing a explore Ask, searching for one thing very shut and not a similar… Nonetheless We are over glad being below, as you give the impact a great informative place. I’d personally somewhat state it’s as much as open up argument… yet I am frightened not to make you an enemy, ‘, haya, haya… No matter the reason, if you wish to talk a little more about the idea, make sure you answer to our review along with I will try and register to ensure that I am informed and also come back in charge of additional… Your new close friend

  2. ualpanici78 says:

    Not long found your write-up and also have been reading through combined. My spouse and i spotted quite a few unusual feedback, although usually Need to trust what the some other commenters will be producing. Witnessing countless nicegreat assessments of this site, I used to be convinced that I ought to as well participate in along with explain how I actually enjoyed perusing this your articles. And so i imagine this would be the very first review: “I can see that you’ve built many interesting details. Manufactured folks would really look at this and the choice of just simply performed. Now i am definitely satisfied that there are so much with this theme which were unveiled and also you made it happen thus perfectly, with the considerably category!inch

  3. bigbird says:

    Lengthy ago i discovered your blog while I became in fact managing a browse Google, trying to find such like although not very exactly the same… However I am just more than happy to be here, since you provide opinion with an intriguing point of view. I might declare it’s up to controversy… but I am scared never to allow you to an enemy, ‘, ‘, ha… In any case, if you want to chitchat at length regarding it, you should answer our opinion along with I will be sure to join to ensure I will be informed and also give back here for more… Your brand-new buddy

Leave a Reply

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline