EGLE's Know It Before You Throw It named Recycling Campaign of the Year by Waste Dive

Dec. 9, 2019
Jill A. Greenberg, EGLE Public Information Officer,, 517-897-4965
EGLE Media Office,, 517-284-9278

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s statewide education campaign Know It Before You Throw It has been named Recycling Campaign of the Year by Waste Dive, a leading industry news publisher based in Washington, D.C.

“The people and organizations that win the Dive Awards are trailblazers and leaders in their markets,” said Davide Savenije, editor-in-chief of Waste Dive's publisher Industry Dive. “Their achievements in 2019 are shaping the future of where the latest strategies and trends are going.”

The state’s first-ever clean recycling initiative, Know It Before You Throw It launched in June 2019. The campaign features the Recycling Raccoon Squad, a six-member team of recycling ambassadors who educate about how clean recycling will reduce the amount of contaminated materials improperly going into recycling bins. The state also wants to double Michigan’s recycling rate to 30% by 2025 and ultimately reach 45% annually. Michigan’s current 15% recycling rate is the lowest in the Great Lakes region and ranks among the nation’s lowest.

Through this campaign, EGLE has awarded 26 grants totaling more than $5.96 million in 2019. The funding aims to improve recycling infrastructure and support development of emerging and new marketplace opportunities for recyclable materials in 16 counties covering every region of the state.

Michigan residents quickly adopted the recycling initiative along with Recycling Raccoons messages encouraging best practices, said Jack Schinderle, director of the Materials Management Division at EGLE.

“I have not seen this kind of positive reaction to anything that I've worked on in 29 years of doing this work,” Schinderle said.

The 2019 Dive Awards recognize the industry’s top disruptors and innovators. These executives, companies, trends and breakthroughs are transforming the industry. Winners were chosen by the editors of Waste Dive based on thorough and independent research, reporting and analysis. For more about this award, read the full Waste Dive story.

Waste Dive provides in-depth journalism and insight into the most impactful news and trends shaping solid waste and recycling. The daily email newsletter and website cover topics such as collections and transfer, recycling, organics, zero waste, landfill operations, WTE, fleet management, policy, labor and more.

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