Michigan Recycling Coalition praises progress on recycling funding

April 17, 2018

Kerrin O’Brien
517.974.3672 [email protected]

Michigan Recycling Coalition praises progress on recycling funding

LANSING - The Michigan Recycling Coalition applauds Senator Nofs for his sponsorship of Senate Bill 943 which will result in stable, long term funding to advance recycling opportunities for all Michigan residents and businesses. The bill will bring Michigan’s landfill tipping fee closer to the regional average and set the state on a course to clean up the environment and better manage waste.

“Senator Nofs’ call for funding to grow recycling is a key step in establishing conditions where Haworth can thrive by supporting Haworth’s landfill free operations and sustainability goals,” Bill Gurn, Haworth facilities manager and chair of the Michigan Recycling Coalition said.

“Governor Snyder’s persistent leadership on these issues cannot be overstated. His recycling initiative and commitment to sustainable economic development for all Michigan communities and business has led us here,” Michigan Recycling Coalition executive director, Kerrin O’Brien said.

The surcharge funding mechanism, supported by the Snyder administration, represents an important departure from the traditional environmental bond approach to funding that has a limited life and significant debt load. The Senate Bill proposes an increase to the surcharge on landfill tip fees to $4.44 per ton of waste disposed and provides on-going funding to deal with some of the state’s most challenging environmental issues - to the benefit of local economies.

In 2017, almost 16.6 million tons of waste were disposed in Michigan. Twenty-five percent of that waste was generated out-of-state, mostly in Canada. The surcharge is estimated to generate $74 million annually yet represents only a fraction of the estimated $1 billion Michiganders spend to collect, transport, and dispose of solid waste annually.

By recovering plastic, metal, glass, paper, and other materials from disposal, we create a domestic supply of recycled material available for manufacturing. “A bill that would help increase access to the recycled material we use to make our products would directly benefit our business by providing a more stable supply, allowing us to keep our workforce busy. We have always said, “when you recycle - we work”,” said Kevin Dingle, President of Mulliken-based Polly Products, a manufacturer of outdoor furnishings made from 100% recycled plastic.

Voter approved funding through the Clean Michigan Bond of 1998 allowed the State to manage cleanup of many toxic sites, yet more than 3,000 remain. These sites include old dumps, closed landfills, and operations that mismanaged waste. Reclaiming these sites for future development revitalizes communities.
Funding for recycling is the first step in supporting communities and businesses working to create a more sustainable future. Changes to state solid waste policy are also necessary to modernize our waste laws.

“Michigan solid waste laws are outdated and don’t take the inherent value of the materials we throwaway into consideration. Updating and funding solid waste planning will help build the kind of public/private partnerships necessary for Michigan communities and businesses to benefit from waste,” said Patrick Cullen, Wayne County solid waste planning manager.

For the past three years, communities and businesses have been hard at work forming an agreed upon path forward that will result in smarter management of waste that expands economic opportunities. The complete set of policy changes put forth by a diverse group of community and business representatives will be available later this spring.


The Michigan Recycling Coalition has been working for over 36 years to advance recycling in Michigan. The Coalition represents more than 520 public and private sector recycling professionals and organizations in Michigan.

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