Recycling metal – what you need to know

Recycling metal – what you need to know

This story was originally published by WOOD-TV for woodtv.com/eightwest.

In an average day, you will likely come in contact with many different types of metal products – everything from pop cans to canned food containers – but how can we do our part to make sure we’re recycling these products properly? Rachael visited the Kent County Recycling and Education Center to find about a new effort by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. It is aimed at educating and encouraging people to recycle and recycle properly. The campaign is designed to better inform Michiganders what can – and cannot – be recycled, as well as to increase the amount of material recycled statewide.

What are the key things to know when recycling metals?

  • Metal food cans, pans, pots, empty aerosol cans, aluminum foil, other clean metals such as license plates.
  • All aluminum, steel and tin materials should be clean before recycling
  • It is OK to leave labels on metal containers
  • Empty aerosol cans are generally recyclable curbside, as long as they didn’t contain something hazardous such as paint or chemicals.

However certain types of metal products are not accepted curbside in most places but often can be recycled at a drop-off location or special recycling event. Those products include: Scrap metal, Kitchen pots and pans, Wire hangers, which jam recycling facility machines, construction materials (e.g., screws, nails, etc.) that are too small and fall through the recycling machines, medical sharps like needles and syringes – they’re dangerous to recycling facility workers

So not all materials can be recycled, but that doesn’t mean that they have to go in the trash. Kent County Recycling & Education Center hosts “Imagine Craft Mondays” every Monday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. here at the center.  This program gives them the opportunity to teach kids about the importance of recycling, but also gives them the chance to turn trash into crafts.

Recycling & Education Center
977 Wealthy SW
Grand Rapids

Metal recycling in southeast Michigan takes many shapes — including art

Metal recycling in southeast Michigan takes many shapes — including art

Man creating art from recycled metal

This story was originally published on The Detroit Free Press.

For professional artist Chris Nesbitt, conversations about metal can get heavy, sometimes into the hundreds of pounds.

“The great thing about working with metal is that it’s so durable,” Nesbitt said. “It’s made to last. There’s something satisfying knowing that these works will probably last longer than me.”

Nesbitt is an artist with DunMor Metal Art, a Waterford Township-based full-service decor company specializing in rustic metal art. Founded in 2015 by Nesbitt’s friend Jeremy Macbeth, DunMor makes such products as custom-made art pieces, signs for both the home and business, and Michigan-themed art. Custom DunMor art has been sold around the U.S., as well as internationally.

All work is handmade from raw materials. Mostly, the pieces are crafted from 4-by-10-foot sheets manufactured in Michigan from new metal mixed with metal collected from curbside recycling bins.

“I’m very conscious about the importance of metal recycling,” said Nesbitt, a former chemical engineer. “It’s good to know that metal is getting a second or third life through our art.”

Improving Michigan’s recycling rate

Compared with much of the country, Michigan excels at recycling one type of metal: aluminum. That’s thanks in large part to Michigan’s first-in-the-nation bottle and can deposit law, which tacks an extra 10 cents onto the cost of each carbonated beverage sold in the state, to be redeemed later for a 10-cent refund.

More than 90% of bottles and cans that carry a deposit are recycled, but such returnable containers represent only 15% of all the waste Michiganders recycle every year. Almost 53% of the state’s municipal solid waste that goes to landfills could instead be recycled if done properly.

State leaders say Michigan needs to do a better job recycling its metal — as well as its paper, glass, cardboard and plastic. The state’s current 15% recycling rate is the lowest in the Great Lakes region and ranks among the lowest nationwide.

That’s why this summer, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, known as EGLE, launched Know It Before You Throw It, a first-of-its-kind statewide education campaign to better inform Michiganders on how to recycle correctly and what can — and cannot — be recycled.

‘A win-win-win for everyone’

EGLE’s goal is to promote awareness of cleaner recycling practices to reduce the amount of contaminated materials improperly going into recycling bins. The state also wants to double Michigan’s recycling rate to 30% by 2025 and ultimately reach 45% annually.

Achieving EGLE’s 30% recycling goal would produce a total of as many as 12,986 jobs, which translates into an economic impact of up to $300 million annually, according to the Expanding Recycling in Michigan Report prepared for the Michigan Recycling Partnership.

The Know It Before You Throw It campaign features the Recycling Raccoon Squad, a six-member team of recycling champions who serve as EGLE’s education ambassadors. EGLE-commissioned research shows that education is key in order for residents to learn how to properly recycle.

“By learning a few simple rules, we can elevate our rate of recycling, expand the amount we recycle and help build stronger, more prosperous communities, which is a win-win-win for everyone,” said EGLE Materials Management Division Assistant Director Elizabeth Browne.

Knowing the rules of recycling

It’s easy to remember many of the tips suggested by EGLE’s raccoon expert on recycling metal — Precious Metale — on her webpage:

— Rinse and empty all metal containers. This means rinsing out containers so they are completely empty of food scraps, such as soup, prior to tossing them into the recycling bin.

— Aluminum, steel and tin materials should be clean before recycling.

— It’s OK to leave labels on metal containers.

— Empty aerosol cans are generally recyclable curbside, as long as they didn’t contain something hazardous, such as paint or chemicals.

Every municipality in Michigan has slightly different rules, though. Certain types of metal accepted in one city aren’t necessarily accepted in another. It’s important to routinely check with local recycling providers about what’s permissible in individual communities.

Those certain types of metal products that are not accepted curbside in most places can often be recycled at a drop-off location or special recycling event. Products of that sort include:

— Scrap metal.

— Kitchen pots and pans.

— Wire hangers, which jam recycling facility machines.

— Construction materials such as screws or nails, which are too small and fall through the recycling machines.

— Medical sharps such as needles and syringes, which are dangerous to recycling facility workers.

Developing good recycling habits

The campaign is a breath of fresh air for Michigan’s recycling leaders.

“People get excited because they have those big recycling carts with all that room, but when you’re throwing scrap metal or batteries in there, you can contaminate an entire batch,” said Galen Hardy, spokesman for the community organization Zero Waste Detroit.

Zero Waste Detroit works with the Detroit Department of Public Works to promote healthy methods of waste diversion, including keeping materials from being incinerated. Hardy said the city’s current recycling rate is only about 4%, a number he’d like to see get up to at least 30%.

“The Know It Before You Throw it campaign is smart, because it’s really good at encouraging the public to develop good recycling habits,” he said.

What happens to plastic after it’s recycled

What happens to plastic after it’s recycled

This story was originally published by FOX17's Morning Mix for fox17online.com.

Maybe you’ve seen those cute commercials out right now with talking raccoons rummaging through the trash. While comical, the message is actually quite serious.

Did you know that Michigan has the lowest recycling rate in the Great Lakes? There's a new promotion out from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) that wants to double the number of people recycling in Michigan.

Beyond just recycling, there are ways that those who recycle already, can step up their game as well. Morning Mix went to Cascade Engineering to learn their role when it comes to recycling.

As mentioned above, this campaign is designed to double Michigan's recycling rate to 30 percent by 2025 and all Michiganders really can really contribute to this program. Be mindful when you are putting things out for recycling, as well. Make sure your food containers are cleaned!

To learn more about the new EGLE campaign along with tips and recycling information, visit www.recyclingraccoons.org

What happens to plastic bottles when you recycle them?

What happens to plastic bottles when you recycle them?

This story was originally published by Live in the D for clickondetroit.com/web/wdiv/live-in-the-d.

Every day, you likely use all kinds of plastic - everything from water bottles to containers, and you may be recycling them, but are you doing it right? You've probably seen the new commercial campaign with the Recycling Raccoon Squad. It's part of a new effort to show people how to recycle correctly by our friends at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy-- or EGLE.

Jill Greenberg joined us to tell us more about the new effort. She says that the "Know it Before You Throw It" campaign aims to educate the public about best practices for recycling. The most important thing to know is to empty and clean the product before you recycle it. When you take those extra steps, it helps improve our recycling stream. Currently, in Michigan, we recycle 15% of plastic, and their goal is to raise it to 30% by 2020. "In fact, 15% is really low for the Great Lakes region," said Greenberg.

Karl Hattopp also joined us from Clean Tech Recycling to show us what happens when we recycle correctly. Hattopp says that Clean Tech Recycling takes the recycled bottles such as laundry detergent bottles and water bottles and they turn them into pellets that are eventually turned back into bottles.

To learn more about Clean Tech Recycling, visit cleantechrecycling.com, and to learn more about the new EGLE campaign and get more tips and information on recycling, visit recyclingraccoons.org.

Meet the furry faces of Michigan’s new recycling campaign

Meet the furry faces of Michigan’s new recycling campaign

Two kids in front of kiddie pool
Boomer the raccoon in character as Nyla P. Lastic, as actors Russell Sullins (left) & Yuna Sullins (right) look on at the Recycling Raccoons video shoot on May 17.

Ideas kept getting dumped into the proverbial trash bin for weeks.

But leaders of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) knew immediately when they had finally recruited the perfect spokesperson for the state’s first-ever “Know It Before You Throw It” campaign to increase and improve recycling.

Turns out, the best person for the job of promoting the Know It Before You Throw It campaign isn’t a person at all.

It’s a raccoon – six of them, to be precise.

“As soon as we saw these adorable little creatures, we recognized instantly we had discovered the messengers to best help us educate the Michigan public on the do’s and don’ts of recycling,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark.

The Michigan Recycling Raccoon Squad features six “talking” raccoons that each focus on a particular recyclable:

  • Nyla P. Lastic (plastic)
  • Carlos Cardboard (cardboard)
  • Precious Metale (metal)
  • Paper MacKay (paper)
  • Gladys Glass (glass)
  • Frank (everything else)

The raccoons’ “personalities” match their specialties – reflected by the purple mohawk on Precious, for example – and their goal is to help Michigan residents grow knowledge and improve their recycling habits.

“The current recycling rate in Michigan is just 15% – that’s the lowest rate in the Great Lakes, and among the lowest in the country,” said EGLE Materials Management Division Director Jack Schinderle.

“Our objective is for Michigan to reach a rate of 30% by 2025, and to ultimately reach 45% annually. The Know It Before You Throw It campaign is key to getting the word out about good recycling practices.”

A few simple rules
The Know It Before You Throw It campaign is part of a statewide recycling education and engagement initiative designed to increase both the quantity and quality of material that is recycled in Michigan.

Beyond preserving the environment, reducing energy use and conserving landfill space, improved recycling in Michigan can bring important economic benefits, according to the “Expanding Recycling in Michigan” report prepared for the Michigan Recycling Partnership.

Achieving EGLE’s 30% recycling goal would produce as many as 12,986 jobs, which translates into an economic impact of up to $300 million annually.

“By learning a few simple rules, we can elevate our rate of recycling, expand the amount we recycle and help build stronger, more prosperous communities, which is a win-win-win for everyone,” Schinderle said.

It’s easy to remember many of the tips suggested by EGLE’s raccoon expert on recycling plastics – Nyla P. Lastic – on her webpage:

  • Rinse and empty all plastic containers. This means rinsing out containers so they are completely empty of food scraps, such as leftover yogurt, or such liquids as unused milk in a jug prior to tossing them in the recycling bin.
  • Check for the number on your plastic item to make sure it’s accepted where you live (1 and 2 are the most widely accepted).
  • Plastic food storage bags cannot be recycled.
  • Plastic straws are not accepted.
  • Never put recyclables in plastic bags – in most places plastic bags are not recyclable, but you can usually recycle them at grocery retailers such as Meijer, Kroger or Target.

Every municipality in Michigan has slightly different rules, however. Certain types of plastic accepted in one city aren’t necessarily accepted in another, so it’s important to routinely check with local officials about what’s permissible in individual communities.

Lights. Cameras. Raccoons.
One of the Know It Before You Throw It campaign’s highlights is a TV commercial featuring the Recycling Raccoons educating a homeowner on her recycling habits.

The 30-second ad quickly became a social media favorite after it was introduced June 24 to Michigan audiences, generating nearly 4,000 positive reactions and 2,500 Facebook shares over its opening two weeks.

“The popularity of Michigan’s Recycling Raccoon Squad is far surpassing EGLE’s expectations,” Schinderle said.

The ad has also inspired civic organizations and environmental advocacy groups across the state to invite EGLE representatives to bring the Know It Before You Throw It mascots’ message to their communities. EGLE staff members are receiving more Know It Before You Throw It event requests than they can schedule this summer, so they’re booking presentations through the fall, Schinderle noted.

The commercial was filmed on a makeshift set at a Lansing-area home with two professional raccoon “actors” – George and Boomer – EGLE hired to play the roles of all six squad members.

“Boomer is very laid-back, so he was picked to play Nyla because he didn’t mind sitting in a plastic pool on an inflatable raft,” said Greg SmithAldridge, who served as animal wrangler for the shoot. Wranglers direct animal-actors to perform certain actions according to the script, similar to the duties of a movie director.

‘It’s easy to improve’

“It’s all about making it fun for the animal and making sure they want to be there,” said SmithAldridge, who has previously worked on such Hollywood film productions as “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” and is currently engaged on a TV ad to sell season tickets for pro football’s Baltimore Ravens.

“You can’t convince a raccoon to do something if he doesn’t want to do it. At some point, he’s going to be just like, ‘OK, I’m done wearing these sunglasses.’”

SmithAldridge didn’t just help the raccoons with their behavior. He got a dose of positive recycling behavior modification himself and was surprised to learn plastic bags can clog the machines that sort recyclables.

“Just from looking at the script and being on set, I realized how bad my recycling habits were,” he said. “I’d been putting all my recyclables in plastic bags for years, but I didn’t know that was wrong. Since this Recycling Raccoons shoot, I’ve really changed up the way I do stuff at home and I realize that it’s really easy to improve.”

To learn more about the rules of recycling and meet the rest of the Recycling Raccoon Squad, visit RecyclingRaccoons.org.

Did you know there’s a right way and a wrong way to recycle?

Did you know there's a right way and a wrong way to recycle?

This story was originally published by Live in the D for clickondetroit.com/web/wdiv/live-in-the-d.

You know recycling has many benefits, including saving energy and conserving resources. However, Michigan ranks as one of the states with the fewest people who actually recycle, and not all who do recycle do it properly. There is a new effort to change all of that in our state. Jill Greenberg with The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, or EGLE, joined Tati Amare to discuss some ways Michiganders can recycle, and do it the proper way.

Greenberg introduced the EGLE's new campaign effort with the "Recycling Raccoon Squad", who are encouraging people to know it before you throw it. The "squad" helps people by giving them the general rules of thumb when it comes to properly recycling so a reusable product can be made from it.

For instance, many people do not know that plastic bags cannot be recycled. Some stores may accept them once you've used them, but generally don't leave them curbside with the garbage. When recycling plastics, rinse them out with water first. A clean plastic container prevents contamination of other products. Next, Greenberg said to flatten food boxes; if a pizza box is clean, it can be recycled, if it's dirty and grease stained, it is not because it could contaminate other products.

EGLE has teamed up with Green Living Science, an organization that has been teaching recycling and waste reduction to schools, businesses and the community since 2007. They have partnered up with The Detroit Public Works to spread the message of recycling to residents, and now with the help of EGLE, the power of the message is even stronger.

To learn more about the efforts of Green Living Science in our community, visit greenlivingscience.org. And to learn more about the EGLE campaign and more information on recycling, visit recyclingraccoons.org.

Recycling at the Ballpark

Recycling at the Ballpark

This story was originally published by eightWest for woodtv.com/eightwest.

We all want to help keep our earth clean, and one way we do that is by recycling. As we know, there are many things that are considered recyclables, but there also a lot of common mistakes that people make!

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has kicked-off a campaign to inform people across the state to “Know It Before You Throw It and they’re collaborating with Fifth Third Ballpark to educate everyone.

The state’s recycling campaign provides the perfect opportunity to better our recycling efforts at Fifth Third Ballpark, but also reminds us how we can improve our practices in our homes.

There are many reminders around the ballpark, bins that are made from post-consumer recycled materials, the billboard with information at the park, and also signage throughout the park that make it easy to decide what you can and can’t recycle.

Confused about recycling? Talk to the Raccoon Squad

Confused about recycling? Talk to the Raccoon Squad

Little girl helping rinse yogurt container

Celine and Joe Sommerdyke are determined to help save the planet.

But hectic days spent shuttling between work and taking care of their one-year old daughter mean that recycling do’s and don’ts are among the last things the Comstock Park family has time to think about.

“Recycling is important to us, but the rules are confusing. Half the time we’re not even sure we’re doing it right,” Celine said.

The Sommerdykes aren’t alone.

Many Michiganders are confused about what can – and cannot – be recycled and how to do it correctly.

That’s why the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has launched Know It Before You Throw It, a first-of-its-kind statewide education campaign aimed to promote cleaner recycling practices and double Michigan’s recycling rate by 2025.

“Michiganders believe in recycling and want to support it, but many of us don’t know how to do it properly,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark. “We just need a helping hand.”

Or how about a helping paw?

EGLE has created the all-new Recycling Raccoon Squad to serve as its education ambassadors across the state. The six-member squad is a team of recycling experts, each with a specialty and a personality that reflects its focus: plastic, cardboard, metal, paper, glass and everything else.

Characters Nyla P. Lastic, Gladys Glass, Precious Metale, Carlos Cardboard, Paper MacKay and Frank are all featured on a new website – RecyclingRaccoons.org – and have their own social channels to share their expertise and help well-meaning families like the Sommerdykes avoid contaminating the entire recycling bin.

“These fun raccoon characters will share the simple rules about recycling in an entertaining, easy-to-remember way that all of us can learn from,” Clark said.

Michigan’s current 15% recycling rate is the lowest in the Great Lakes region and ranks among the nation’s lowest.

EGLE’s campaign incorporates recommendations from a recycling council that included industry experts, processors, retailers, bottlers and environmental advocates. They were tasked with designing a blueprint to develop the state’s next generation of recycling infrastructure while doubling Michigan’s recycling rate to 30% by 2025 – and ultimately reaching 45% annually.

The Know It Before You Throw It campaign is launching as communities across Michigan and the U.S. are struggling with international market shifts, resulting in higher costs for some local governments that fail to meet new industrywide cleanliness standards for recyclable materials.

One of the most important things EGLE and the Recycling Raccoon Squad want Michiganders to know is that sometimes well-intended efforts to recycle as much as possible can end up contaminating the entire bin. Greasy pizza boxes, for example, are a big recycling no-no.

“Oil that’s soaked into pizza boxes can’t be separated from the cardboard fibers during processing, ruining what otherwise would have been a good batch of paper fibers ready for reuse,” Clark said.

If that batch ends up being made into recycled paper, the product will be of poor quality, containing spots and holes. And food residue left in cans and jars may not allow proper processing of those items, meaning those, too, would be considered garbage, not usable recyclables.

Knowing what and how to recycle – and which items to just throw out – can be confusing because some rules vary by location. Furthermore, over time, recycling requirements and conditions often change. There are, however, a few basic rules that apply everywhere, all the time:

  • Rinse and empty glass, plastic and metal containers
  • Flatten cardboard
  • Don’t put recyclables in plastic bags

Another problem is “wish-cycling” – where people aren’t sure if an item is recyclable, but they throw it in the recycling bin anyway rather than the recommended practice of depositing it in the garbage.

“One of the keys to achieving our recycling goals is consistent and persistent education,” said Kerrin O’Brien, executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition “By encouraging people to focus on the basics of their local recycling program and think about what they’re recycling before they toss it, we can improve our environment and create new economic opportunities in Michigan.”

To learn more about the rules and the reasons behind them – and to meet the Recycling Raccoon Squad – visit RecyclingRaccoons.org.

“Know It Before You Throw It” campaign informs people about rules of recycling

“Know It Before You Throw It” campaign informs people about rules of recycling

This story was originally published by Lindsay Hoffman for fox17online.com

Recycling has many benefits including energy savings, reduction in water use, decreases in greenhouse gases and conserving resources to name a few. But only 15 percent of Michiganders recycle, the lowest in the Great Lakes region and among the lowest in the nation.

However not all those who recycle are doing it properly, but there's a new effort to change that. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has kicked off a campaign to better inform Michiganders on what can and can't be recycled.

The campaign is called “Know It Before You Throw It”, and it aims to promote best practices and emphasize that recycling provides a wide range of environmental and economic benefits.

Not only is this campaign exciting because it’s aimed at educating people, but it’s unique in the fact that our messaging will primarily be led by a team of expert representatives the Raccoon Recycling Squad.

In the coming months, Michiganders will receive recycling advice from the likes of Nyla P. Lastic, Gladys Glass, Precious Metale, Carlos Cardboard, Paper McKay and Frank.

Learn more about how to recycle in Kent County visit reimaginetrash.org.

Learn more about the new EGLE campaign and get more tips and information on recycling, visit recyclingraccoons.org.

EGLE kicks off Know It Before You Throw It education campaign in state’s first-ever effort to promote cleaner recycling

EGLE kicks off Know It Before You Throw It education campaign in state’s first-ever effort to promote cleaner recycling

Goal is to reduce contaminated materials going into recycling bins and double state’s recycling rate to 30% by 2025

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy today announced the launch of Know It Before You Throw It, a first-ever statewide education campaign to better inform Michiganders on what can – and cannot – be recycled and how to recycle correctly.

EGLE’s goal is to promote awareness of cleaner recycling practices to reduce the amount of contaminated materials improperly going into recycling bins. The state also wants to double Michigan’s recycling rate to 30% by 2025 and ultimately reach 45% annually. Michigan’s current 15% recycling rate is the lowest in the Great Lakes region and ranks among the nation’s lowest.

The Know It Before You Throw It campaign launches as communities across Michigan and the U.S. are struggling with international market shifts, resulting in higher costs for some local governments that fail to meet new industrywide cleanliness standards for recyclable materials.

“We want to inform and inspire more people than ever before in Michigan about how to recycle better,” said EGLE’s Materials Management Division Director Jack Schinderle. “This campaign is a first of its kind for Michigan that offers multiple benefits. Increasing recycling and improving the quality of materials we’re recycling saves energy, reduces water use, decreases greenhouse gases, conserves resources and translates into local jobs.”

EGLE officials were joined during today’s news conference at a Lansing recycling transfer station by East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows; Lansing Deputy Mayor Samantha Harkins; state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-East Lansing; state Rep. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing; state Rep. Kara Hope, D-Lansing; state Rep. Julie Brixie, D-East Lansing; Michigan Recycling Coalition Executive Director Kerrin O’Brien; and Michigan Waste and Recycling Association Board Chair Kevin Kendall.

“We thank Gov. Whitmer, the Michigan Legislature and EGLE for their leadership and for working together to develop a strategy that will help improve and sustain Michigan’s environment now and throughout the 21st century,” Meadows said.

Recycling in Michigan is receiving a major boost as state legislators in an overwhelmingly bipartisan move have increased EGLE’s funding for recycling from $2 million last year to $15 million in 2019. The extra funds will support development of recycling markets, increase access to recycling opportunities and reinforce planning efforts to grow recycling at the local level.

“What’s really great about EGLE’s campaign is that we’ve spent the past decade or more stressing the importance of putting more resources into recycling education and supporting local communities’ programs,” Hertel said. “Michigan is now putting words into action.”

To kick off the campaign, EGLE introduced the Michigan Recycling Raccoon Squad, a six-member team of recycling champions who will serve as EGLE’s education ambassadors. EGLE-commissioned research shows that education is key for residents to learn how to properly recycle. For example:

  • 50% of Michigan residents mistakenly believe they’re allowed to recycle plastic bags in their curbside recycling, which is prohibited by most municipalities.
  • 76% of Michiganders are unaware that failing to rinse and dry items before putting them in the recycling bin poses a risk of contaminating everything in the bin.

“Some of the material being disposed of through landfills and incinerators could be recycled or composted in most metropolitan communities without great difficulty,” Kendall said.

Michigan recycles more than 90% of bottles and cans, but bottles and cans represent only 2% of all the waste Michiganders recycle every year. Almost 53% of the state’s municipal solid waste goes to landfills instead of recycling facilities. Lansing and East Lansing, for example, recycle nearly 7,500 tons of waste annually. While the cities have a relatively low contamination rate of 8%-10%, that number is on the rise, according to data provided by both municipalities.

“By encouraging people to focus on the basics and think about what they’re recycling before they toss it, we can improve our environment and build stronger communities,” Harkins said.

Five decades have passed since Michigan’s historic accomplishment with the bottle deposit legislation earned the state national recognition as an environmental champion.

“Over that time, Michigan has gotten complacent,” said O’Brien. “We can – and must – become America’s leaders again in recycling. The EGLE campaign is a tremendous opportunity for Michigan to advance to the next level of performance in protecting our environment.”

More information about the Know It Before You Throw It campaign is available at RecyclingRaccoons.org.

To stay up to date on other EGLE news, follow us at Michigan.gov/MIEnvironment.

© Copyright 2019, EGLE. All Rights Reserved.

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