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Local and state agencies partner to increase recycling

ALPENA, Mich. — Alpena County is teaming up with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to improve Michigan’s recycling. Members from both EGLE and officials from Alpena County met on Monday to kick off a new campaign at the Alpena Resource Recovery Facility.

In Michigan, the recycling rate is only 15%, one of the lowest in the nation. This new campaign, called “Know It Before You Throw It,” aims at doubling the state’s recycling rate to 30% by 2025. This will involve increasing the amount of education provided to Michigan residents. The ultimate goal is to reach 45%.

Michigan State Representative Sue Allor spoke at the event. “I think it’s essential that we recycle throughout Michigan,” she said. “That’s the main way we can help to protect our environment, and that’s something that we, as citizens, need to focus on.”

The Alpena Resource Recovery Facility has already broken last year’s record of recyclable materials collected and shipped to market. The facility isn’t stopping now, as this new partnership hopes to double that record by December 31.

Chair of the Alpena County Board of Commissioners, Brad McRoberts, says everyone should just take a little time to make sure they are recycling properly, which will help everyone in the long run. “We should care about our grand kids, our kids, and the environment, so it’s a good deal to start recycling.”

Legislators increased funding for the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy from 2 million last year to 15 million this year. These extra funds will go towards the development of recycling markets, increase access to recycling opportunities and support planning efforts to grow recycling at the local level.