Over $2M awarded for largest expansion of recycling in Detroit history


DETROIT, Mich. (WLNS) – Detroit received $2.2 million to increase recycling education statewide this year.

The grants support the largest expansion of recycling in the city’s history, according to an announcement today by Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

“Increasing recycling and improving the quality of materials we’re recycling is not only the right thing to do for our environment, but it also saves energy, reduces water use, decreases greenhouse gases, conserves resources and translates into local jobs,” Clark said.

Michigan’s current 15% recycling rate is the lowest in the Great Lakes region and ranks among the nation’s lowest.

The recycling industry in Michigan currently generates nearly 36,000 jobs statewide and an annual payroll of $2.6 billion, a 2016 analysis commissioned by EGLE shows.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state legislators want to double Michigan’s recycling rate to 30% by 2025 and ultimately reach 45% annually.

The economic impact of tripling the recycling rate to 45% would support 138,000 new jobs in Michigan’s recycling industry, providing $9 billion in annual labor income and $33.8 billion in economic output, according to a new study commissioned by EGLE.

The grants announced today include funding to purchase 16,400 curbside recycling carts and nearly 4,000 multifamily containers.

“Implementing curbside recycling with carts is an exciting initiative that can have huge benefits for the city,” said Cody Marshall, chief community strategy officer at The Recycling Partnership.

EGLE and its campaign partners across the state are promoting awareness of cleaner recycling practices to reduce the amount of contaminated materials improperly going into recycling bins.

“We are committed to informing and inspiring more people than ever before in Detroit and across Michigan about how to recycle better,” Clark said during a news conference.

76% of Michiganders are unaware that failing to rinse and empty items before putting them in the recycling bin poses a risk of contaminating everything in the bin.

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