The state is providing $1.23 million in grant funding in an effort to increase the state’s recycling average.
State officials said Michigan has the lowest recycling rate throughout the Great Lakes states and is among the lowest nationally.
Spokesperson with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, Jill Greenberg said the goal is to double the current rate of 15 percent to 30 percent.
Greenberg said one of the ways to increase the state’s average is by promoting clean recycling.
“If you have a plastic tub that comes with your yogurt, you want to empty and rinse that before putting it in your recycling bin,” Greenberg said. “If it does have any remnants of yogurt, tuna, or cat food and it goes into the stream not only will that be removed, but it contaminates an area around that so there’s a greater net loss if you don't put that in clean.”
According to a report from Expanding Recycling in Michigan, if the goal is achieved, 12,986 jobs could be created statewide.
“It’s a great goal for our state, one that I think we can achieve but it’s going to take a lot of work and really the residents of the state working together to reach this common goal,” Greenberg said.
According to Greenberg, Michigan’s ultimate goal is to increase the rate to 45 percent.
The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy listed Isabella County as a grant recipient. According to the state department, the $78,902 grant will relocate drop-off sites to higher-traffic areas to be accessible to neighboring rural communities.