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City of Detroit receives nearly $1 million in recycling funding

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The grant is part of a $2.2 million public-private collaboration to increase recycling education statewide in Michigan by 2020.

The city of Detroit is receiving nearly US$1 million in grants to support the largest expansion of recycling in the city’s history.

According to a Jan. 6 news release by U.S.-based non-profit  association The Recycling Partnership and the PepsiCo Foundation, the funds are “part of a first-ever, $2.2 million public-private collaboration to increase recycling education statewide in 2020,” citing Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Director Liesl Clark.

“We are committed to informing and inspiring more people than ever before in Detroit and across Michigan about how to recycle better,” Clark said. “Increasing recycling and improving the quality of materials we’re recycling is not only the right thing to do for our environment, but it also saves energy, reduces water use, decreases greenhouse gases, conserves resources and translates into local jobs.”

Michigan’s current 15 per cent recycling rate is said to be the lowest in the Great Lakes region and ranks among the nation’s lowest. Officials hope that the new program will help boost recycling in the state to 30 per cent by 2025 and ultimately 45 per cent annually. The economic impact of tripling the recycling rate to 45% would support 138,000 new jobs in Michigan’s recycling industry, provide US$9 billion in annual labour income and $33.8 billion in economic output, according to a study commissioned by EGLE.


EGLE research shows that education is key for residents to learn how to properly recycle. For example, EGLE says, 50 per cent of Michigan residents mistakenly believe they’re allowed to recycle plastic bags in their curbside recycling, which is prohibited by many municipalities statewide; and 76 per cent of Michiganders are unaware that failing to rinse and empty items before putting them in the recycling bin poses a risk of contaminating everything in the bin.

The collaboration between the city of Detroit, EGLE, and The Recycling Partnership, with special support from the PepsiCo Foundation, will increase residential access to recycling and collection capacity in Detroit through the purchase of 16,400 curbside recycling carts and nearly 4,000 multifamily containers. Grant funds also will provide additional collection capacity through commercial, public space and municipal recycling containers of various sizes and a collection vehicle.


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