DEQ recognizes recycling advocates for their efforts to increase reuse

Agency: Environmental Quality

May 16, 2018

For more information: 
DEQ Media Relations, deq-assist@michigan.gov, 800-662-9278

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) yesterday recognized recycling advocates for their efforts to address comprehensive waste management and improve the recycling rate across the state as part of the Michigan Recycling Coalition’s annual conference in Kalamazoo.

DEQ Director C. Heidi Grether also thanked Senator Mike Nofs for his leadership on a funding proposal aimed at bolstering recycling and other environmental initiatives.

“The DEQ is committed to providing Michiganders with a better environment through the reduction of waste and the increase in recycling,” Grether said.  “Thanks to the support of Governor Snyder, Senator Nofs, and the hard work of the members of the Michigan Recycling Coalition, we are now well on our way to updating our solid waste laws and providing a funding mechanism to accomplish both goals.”

Recent legislation, Senate Bill 943, introduced by Sen. Nofs, R-Battle Creek, increases the current tipping fee charged on all waste disposed in landfills from $0.36 per ton to $4.44 per ton.

The average tipping fee in the Midwest is $5.30 per ton.  Michigan currently has the lowest tipping fee in the region and more than one quarter of Michigan’s landfill waste is imported from Canada and 13 surrounding states.

The proposal would generate $74 million annually to support efforts aimed at tripling Michigan’s recycling rate through additional access to recycling and market development opportunities.  Water quality monitoring and remediation and redevelopment of contaminated sites in communities across the state would also be funded by the proposal.

An estimated $18 million of this revenue would be generated from out-of-state sources while the cost of the fee to the average Michigan family would be less than $5 a year.

With a 15 percent recycling rate, Michigan’s recycling rate is one of the lowest in the nation, resulting in $368 million worth of recyclable materials being put in Michigan landfills each year.  The average recycling rate nationwide is 35 percent.

Grether also updated conference attendees on the DEQ’s efforts with the Department of Technology, Management and Budget to increase recycling within state government and the DEQ’s work with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to grow local recycling efforts throughout the state.

The Michigan Recycling Coalition’s mission is to foster sustainability by leading, educating and mobilizing business, government, nonprofits and individuals to advance their own and collective resource use and recovery initiatives in Michigan through Re:Source, a state initiative that promotes the use of recycled materials in economic and business opportunities in Michigan.

For more information on the DEQ’s recycling efforts, visit: www.michigan.gov/mirecycles.

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