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...