It’s well known within the industry that the existing data sets are not exactly reliable. The EPA’s annual look at municipal solid waste numbers remains the default.
Through the years there have been other efforts to try and generate different estimates. Most recently, the Environmental Research and Education Foundation developed its own estimates that peg the volumes of waste and recycling much higher than previously thought. And EREF’s Bryan Staley has argued persuasively about the need for better data in the industry.
One of the problems is that data sets at the state level aren’t that great either. There have been some efforts to improve this. And now Michigan is attempting to clean up its data as well.
The Detroit Free Press has the report:
Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation creating a statewide data collection system so that Michigan can track its recycling efforts.
Snyder signed the bill Tuesday so the state can get accurate recycling rate data. He had tasked Michigan with doubling its current rate of about 15 percent of household waste. Snyder's office says the national average was 35 percent in 2014.
The new law requires recycling facilities to send data to the state Department of Environmental Quality. It comes after Snyder's announcement of a 2014 initiative to support local recycling programs.
Snyder has long had a passion for waste and recycling and has made it a big part of his administration. Waste360 Columnist Michele Nestor wrote about Snyder’s work last June.