Michigan Recycling Coalition's Weekly Newsletter
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December 21, 2018

All Things Recycling

Advocacy update - WE DID IT! 

Funding secured in a lame duck nail biter - A Senate Republican proposal to allocate funding for the Governor's Renew initiative passed both Houses of the Michigan legislature in the wee hours of Friday morning and now awaits final signing by Governor Snyder. The Renew initiative provides a total of $69M funding for recycling, industry oversight, and brownfield cleanup. Of the total allocated, recycling would get about $15M or 22%, industry oversight would get $9M or 13%, and brownfields would get $45M or 65% of the total fund. 

SB 943 originally proposed funding Renew through an increase in the landfill tip fee surcharge, however Senate Republicans could not secure enough votes to pass the measure on their own and ultimately had to rely on Senate Democrats to deliver the lion's share of the votes. Democrats declined to support the measure and take the blame for the perceived "tax increase." Senate Republicans put funding from the Federal Court "Wayfair" decision on the table. The Wayfair decision provides Michigan with an estimated $250M in internet sales tax. 

Ultimately the passage of HB 4991 marks a huge victory for the Michigan Recycling Coalition and sustainable materials management in Michigan. The Coalition emerged as a key stakeholder in the lengthy process. Upon identifying the necessity of funding and statewide leadership to advance recycling goals ten years ago, the Coalition has worked methodically to make progress on the funding issue. Of the many important steps along that path, MRC Executive Director Kerrin O'Brien recognizes the importance of the Governor's long-time leadership and support of the issue and the hiring of the government relations firm Midwest Strategy Group, specifically lobbyist Dusty Fancher. 

The MRC will provide more details about the immediate appropriation of this funding in the New Year.  Priorities for next year include making recommended changes to Part 115. Until then, we celebrate the victory of today! Many thanks to those of you that made contact with legislators throughout the process.

Berrien Co. boosts recycling efforts - Berrien County residents really cleaned up in 2018 - at least when it comes to recycling. That's according to the year-end report presented to the Board of Commissioners last week by Jill Adams, environmental property manager with the parks department. Adams credited much of the strong response from residents to the updated recycling guide, a 20-page booklet that was mailed to 86,540 households, placed at community locations, and posted to the county's website. Read more...

Battle Creek man leaves gifts with trash pickups - Vashon Wanzer is a garbage man in Battle Creek who's making some drop-offs with his pickups this holiday season. Wanzer is giving out free Christmas presents to kids on his route. "I was raised by a single mom so I thought it would be pretty cool to help out during Christmas because I know my Christmases weren't always the greatest," said Wanzer. "I figured they would probably appreciate a little help now and then." Read more...

Marquette Co. explores single-stream recycling - Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority is looking to change the county's dual-stream recycling program to a single-stream system. Marquette County is working with the New York-based Closed Loop Fund on mixed financing options to help purchase new equipment. Read more...

NWRA signs agreement with MWRA - NWRA and MWRA signed a memorandum of understanding to partner on issues affecting the waste and recycling industry. Read excerpts from both statements here...
Recycle Actually - A fun way to spread the message about recycling right! 
MRFs install equipment to weather the storm - In different corners of the country, recycling facility operators have recently upgraded their lines as markets shift and the material stream continues to evolve. Read more...

SWEEP standard releases ambitious proposal - The Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Protocol (SWEEP) Municipal Standard has been published in draft form. Following the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) model, its goal is to evaluate "the environmental, economic, and social aspects of providing municipal solid waste services." Read more...

PaintCare launches recycling grant competition - PaintCare is launching its first-ever Innovative Recycling Grant Competition. The competition is intended to identify and accelerate the commercialization of novel technologies for recycling leftover latex house paint. Learn more...

Communities pushing to close incinerators - The groups involved in the Failing Incinerator Project say they're committed to "a just transition" away from incineration, starting with economic disincentivization. A just transition means boosting their cities' recycling and composting efforts to keep un-incinerated trash out of landfills. A just transition also means having a plan for the facility's workers, and the surrounding community, when the facility closes. Former Zero Waste Detroit staffer Ahmina Maxey contends that 10 jobs in recycling could be created for every job in incineration or landfilling - and that jobs in recycling are less damaging to workers' health. Read more...

A look at what's ahead for scrap tire recycling - Although tire-derived fuel (TDF) continues to be the largest end market for recycled scrap tires, TDF demand is steadily declining every year. While many scrap tires are being recycled, there was a slight decline in the recycling of tires overall compared to 2015. Read more...

BLS: Collection workers fatalities 10x ntl average - Fatality rates for refuse and recyclable material collectors increased in 2017, while the total number of fatalities declined to 30 from 31, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The occupation remained among the top-five most dangerous in the country. Read more...

Conference planning is in full swing. Consider sponsoring the Conference this year! 
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Opportunities, Resources, Grants...

Washtenaw Co. Opportunities - The County Solid Waste Management Program manages planning, implementation, and expanding programming in accordance with goals set forth in the Plan. The Supervisor would represent the County locally and regionally and partner with municipalities and entities involving solid waste program activities. Learn more...  The Environmental Coordinator, under the supervision of a higher classified employee, performs tasks in multiple areas of waste management, including waste planning, needs assessment, staffing intergovernmental consortia, coordinating recycling and developing financial structuring, making budget and revenue projections, and maintaining relations with contractors and operators of solid waste management systems. Learn more...

Emmet County, Opportunities Up North! - The Emmet County Department of Public Works is accepting applications for a DPW Superintendent. The Superintendent ensures the Pleasantview Road Drop-off Center, recycling drop sites, and collection routes run safely and efficiently and to further the recycling, composting, and waste reduction goals of the county. Both position require experience operating heavy trucks and equipment required; CDL preferred. Excellent benefits.

Want more recycling news? - If you're not currently receiving this newsletter on a weekly basis it's because you're not a member of the MRC. Join to receive this newsletter weekly and receive many other benefits of membership. Also, send us your news, jobs postings, and fresh content!
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Looking for a contact? MRC Member Directory! - Members have access through our member website to the "Member Directory" and "Member Organization Directory" listed under "Quick Links" in the right side of the screen. Join us to get access to these directories and other great benefits. 
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MRC Events
MRC Annual Conference - May 14-16, 2019, Ann Arbor Sheraton
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USCC Compst2019 - January 28-31, Phoenix, AZ
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Board of Directors

Lori Welch, Chair
City of Lansing
Roger Cargill, V Chair
Schupan Recycling
Sarah Kelly, Treas
Calhoun County
Bill Haagsma, Sec
Speed-Tech Equip.
Rebecca Andrews
Washtenaw Community College
Jake Borton
Isabella County
Julie Cribley
Recycle Livingston
Patrick Cullen
Wayne County
Stephen Klemann
Republic Services
Rick Lombardo
Tracy Purrenhage
Iris Waste Diversion Specialists
Don Pyle
Mike Schafran
General Motors
Dave Smith
MSU Surplus & Recycling
Bill Whitley
Spurt Industries

Kerrin O'Brien 

Executive Director
Kelly Schalter
Program Manager
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