Recycling initiative seems to be positive step

We like a plan released by Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday designed to increase the amont of recycling that takes place in the state of Michigan.

The initiative, according to a report filed by The Associated Press, calls for doubling within two years the rate at which Michigan recycles cans, newspapers, bottles and other household refuse, currently estimated at 15 percent.

Even then, it would remain below the national average, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency puts at 35 percent.

The numbers are rather astounding. AP stated about $435 million worth of materials in the state that could be recycled end up in landfills each year, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality.

To counteract that, the plan takes a four-pronged approach:

– Collecting and analyzing data on amounts and types of materials that are recycled, and on access to recycling and residential participation rates, all of which are important to measuring progress.

– Educating the public and providing technical assistance to communities for building recycling programs.

One of three state positions created under the $1.5 million initiative will be a coordinator for outreach to locals. The others will focus on market development and public relations.

– Providing incentives and encouraging regional partnerships to increase participation in recycling and improve access. Grants will be offered to local governments that adopt ordinances or include curbside service in contracts with waste haulers.

– Stimulating markets for recycled products through measures such as using tax-exempt bonds to encourage investment in waste utilization facilities and creating a directory identifying potential buyers for recycled items.

We like this plan, in that it seems to be both business and consumer friendly.

Clearly, all of us need to recycle more. This program will facilitate that.