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Pollution Prevention Week highlights ways to reduce, reuse and recycle waste

As part of Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) encourages Michiganders to incorporate activities into their daily routines that reduce, reuse, and recycle waste. The annual P2 Week also provides an opportunity to reflect and see the progress made in Michigan’s Solid Waste Policy, first adopted in 1988.  At that time, there were fears that Michigan would run out of landfill space.

Sustainable Materials Management hierarchy

Today’s challenges are different. Laws and regulations have changed; technology has changed; and Michigan’s economy has changed. All of these changes and the desire to improve how Michigan manages solid wastes prompted stakeholders to recommend bold policy changes in 2007 and to reaffirm those changes in 2017, along with suggested revisions to update the current solid waste laws. The pending legislative changes are available on the Solid Waste and Recycling Advisors web page.

The updated Solid Waste Policy presented a fundamentally different approach to making solid waste management decisions. The policy was updated to promote viewing unwanted materials as a resource available for use in a global economy, rather than prescribing disposal options.  It was updated to challenge each of us to make decisions based on three key principles of sustainability:

  • Economic vitality.
  • Ecological integrity.
  • Improved quality of life.

The accompanying graphic illustrates the hierarchy of Michigan’s sustainable materials management approach and provides a simple roadmap to making more sustainable choices.

P2 Week (Sept. 19 to 25) is an opportunity for individuals, schools, communities, and businesses to showcase or share ideas about how they reduce waste, are more efficient, or reduce energy. Promoting P2 activities at home, work, and school helps to protect the local economy, improve health, and reduce energy costs.