EGLE Announces Largest-Ever Push for Recycling Programs
Michigan’s recent efforts to stimulate the economy have once again been focused on recycling.
The state agency for the environment, great lakes, and energy (EGLE) announces nearly $ 5 million to fund recycling grant investments in 45 communities across the state. EGLE calls it “Next Cycle Michigan”. The agency hopes the record-breaking effort could boost the economy and also tackle climate change.
EGLE Director Liesl Clark says, “NextCycle offers a huge next step for both recycling and business development.” She adds, “It’s a combination of investing in public and private spaces to make a big difference.”
It is seen as the greatest advance in the history of the state to set in motion a “recycling and recovery economy”. “With the start of the Next Cycle Michigan Initiative, the state of Michigan can lay the foundation for the successful pursuit of ambitious sustainability goals in our state. From rural communities to downtown Detroit. From private individuals to companies, schools and other institutions, ”says Clark.
EGLE says $ 4.9 million in grants will go to 45 communities, businesses, and nonprofits in almost every region of the state. Liz Browne is head of the EGLE Materials Management Division. “Recycling has become an essential tool to support our state’s local economies as well as businesses large and small. And important employers in the manufacturing sector. “
In northern Michigan, state Senator Wayne Schmidt, R-Grand Traverse County says the grants will go to Alpena, Cheboygan, and Emmet Counties, as well as Traverse City and the UP. “Commercial recycling has decreased somewhat. That is why it is important that we make sure that we recycle at home. Because these products are critical in the manufacturing supply chain. “
Browne agrees. According to EGLE, the goal is to increase Michigan’s recycling rate from 15% to 45%. The latest numbers show Michigan is at 18%. “Much of the commercial recycling has failed. Because people are not in their own offices, businesses have been closed or worked on the fly just to keep things moving. “
The NextCycle Michigan Initiative is also about marketing and public relations: promoting recycling activities while avoiding landfills. Clark says, “There’s a public play that is about talking to people about how they recycle. It’s a combination of investing in public and private spaces to make a big difference.”
“Education and participation will be critical to the success of this effort. The effectiveness of Michigan’s commitment to recycling depends largely on the daily decisions and actions of Michigans, ”says Clarke.
The state says recycling can also support climate change priorities by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Browne says, “By turning waste into new products that are made here in Michigan, we can achieve our goals of conserving resources, protecting our climate, and contributing to the prosperity of Michigan-based businesses.” She added, “Together we plan to use public and private investment in Michigan’s recycling system to reuse materials that were once destined for landfill. “
Rich Studley is the President and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “I find it fascinating to see how the debate changes from landfills to waste disposal to materials management and recycling.”
The funding is part of EGLE’s strategy to support the recycling infrastructure and improve the quality of recyclable materials. This is an effort that could have international repercussions. US Democratic Representative Haley Stevens of Michigan’s 11th Congressional District in southeast Michigan says “New technology and innovation is something NextCycle is leveraging locally in Michigan. And we’re reducing our reliance on countries like China, which have developed a trillion-dollar recycling infrastructure. Very at your own expense. Then in the blink of an eye they changed in such a way that they didn’t accept many of our materials and goods like plastics. “
Clark says, “Solutions don’t come from the state, solutions don’t come from the government. Solutions arise through partnerships between public and private actors. The most important thing is to work with people locally to really make a difference. ”