New rules and changes are coming to Michigan as officials want to focus less on waste and landfills and more on recycling.

October 5, 2023

2 Min Read
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New rules and changes are coming to Michigan as officials want to focus less on waste and landfills and more on recycling.

The Michigan environmental regulations will soon encourage residents to reuse and recycle as much as they can, working to keep materials out of the state’s waste stream. Previously, past policies would allow for landfill growth across the state.

“Ultimately, we are all responsible for end-of-life management of the stuff that flows through our hands every day, and the state is really trying to help us move toward using that material as productively as possible to the benefit of community and the economy and the environment,” said Kerrin O’Brien, executive director at nonprofit Michigan Recycling Coalition.

The expectations for the changes are that Michigan’s recycling rates could more than double. In 2019, Michigan posted a recycling rate of 19% but now that rate is up around 21%. The national average is sitting at 34%.

Michigan’s state environmental regulators intend to officially call for new materials management plans this month. These plans are required for each Michigan county under the new law. Counties will have three years to create a plan and put it into action. Counties will have access to grant month to help take inventory of their waste stream and plan how to boost recycling access for residents.

“It’s what is being generated in your county, and what do you have available now to deal with it? And unlike the landfill mandate, it doesn’t say you have to account for every ounce of material that’s being generated. It’s being used more to generate the best data possible to help counties figure out what additional resources they may need,” said Liz Browne, materials management division director for the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

Read the full article here.

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