State grants promote recycling

Mar 8, 2021

Credit Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy

Michigan’s recycling rate is currently the lowest in the Great Lakes region and one of the lowest in the nation.

The state is increasing recycling spending this year and West Michigan is receiving more than $1 million in recycling grants.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is providing $1.2 million in Renew Michigan grants to local West Michigan businesses, nonprofits and governments aimed at promoting and improving recycling activities. The goal is to double the state’s recycling rate to 30% by 2025.

The objective is to reach 45% annually.

“The legislature two years ago, in a bipartisan move, voted to increase EGLE’s funding for recycling projects from $2 million annually to $15 million per year moving forward.”

Elizabeth Brown is EGLE Director of Materials Management Division

West Michigan businesses and nonprofits are sharing $1.2 million. Grand Rapids will continue investing in it’s ‘Feet On The Street’ campaign is educating the city’s roughly 55,000 households about quality recycling. In 2020, the city conducted recycling inspections providing education and guidance including not bagging recyclables. Jill Martin is The Recycling Partnership Director of Community Programs.

“Residents were also reminded to not recycle items such as plastic bags or plastic wrap int heir curbside bin but rather bring those things back to retail establishments for collection.”

It decreased recycling contamination by 40%. In 2021, The City of Grand Rapids will use its Renew Michigan grant to further combat plastic bags from entering the recycling system saving taxpayer dollars.