Michigan launches $2M education campaign to boost recycling

Local News

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – While many Michiganders do believe recycling is important, studies show that a lot of people aren’t doing it correctly.

Right now Michigan’s recycling rate is among the lowest in the country, so that’s why community leaders now want to make sure you know it before you throw it.

“Everything that you’re trying to accomplish in recycling will be hurt if you don’t throw the right things away,” said East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows.

Whether it’s cardboard, paper, or plastic, not everything should be thrown in a recycle bin.

“When they recycle wrongly, they actually contaminate the entire stream,” said Meadows.

Meadows is just one of the leaders in the “Know It Before You Throw It” campaign, an effort by the state to promote cleaner recycling.

“Educate yourself. Make sure what you’re doing is the right thing,” said Meadows.

A couple key recycling tips are making sure you rinse out and dry cans and bottles before throwing them in a bin. If not, they could contaminate everything else in it.

It’s also important to make sure to break down cardboard fully flat.

Jack Schinderle, the Materials Management Division Director with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, says cleaner recycling could benefit Michigan in more ways than one.

“By recycling we can serve water, we can serve reduce greenhouse gas emissions, eliminate wasted resources and create local jobs,” said Schinderle.

The take away message:

“Know it before you throw it, that’s the name of the campaign, so make sure you have confidence in what you’re recycling and how to recycle that material,” said Schinderle.

The goal is to double Michigan’s recycling rate to 30 percent by 2025.

For a full list of recycling tips, head over to Seen on 6.


ORIGINAL STORY: The state of Michigan is launching a $2 million educational campaign to boost the state’s low recycling rate.

The “Know It Before You Throw It” initiative was announced Monday at a recycling transfer station in Lansing.

Officials say the goal is to let residents know that they should rinse and dry all plastics, glass and metal before recycling it. People also should not try to recycle plastic bags, which is prohibited by most municipalities.

Not recycling properly can contaminate the supply, meaning it goes to landfills or adds costs for communities.

The educational campaign includes TV ads, billboards and a website.

Michigan’s 15% recycling rate is lowest in the Great Lakes region, despite the 10-cent bottle-return law.

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