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State says Michigan recycling is up since COVID-19

Phillip Hutchinson, Northern Territory Imaging and Design
Emmet County Recycling

State officials say Michigan’s recycling rate is improving, although it still lags far behind the rest of the country.

Michiganders are now recycling more than 19% of solid waste, according to a recent analysis from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

That’s an improvement from the pre-2019 recycling rate of just over 14%. Still, EGLE director Liesl Clark acknowledges there’s room for improvement.

“Michigan has had historically the lowest recycling rate in the Great Lakes states, which is why really need to increase that rate and why there's been such a focus on it.”

The national recycling rate is about 32% and Michigan hopes to eventually exceed that threshold in part by giving grants to local governments and recycling businesses. That includes seven million dollars announced Monday for recycling initiatives in Detroit, Pontiac, Flint, Grand Rapids, Alpena and the Upper Peninsula.