Filtered by tag: Organics Remove Filter

Improving Water Quality Through Compost in Michigan

Tom Zimnicki, agriculture policy director, Michigan Environmental Council
Kerrin O'Brien, executive director, Michigan Recycling Coalition

As summer heats up, so too does the calculable media coverage, vivid images and conversation about algal blooms in western Lake Erie. With NOAA's early 2018 projections mimicking the 2017 algal bloom, this year is sure to be filled with much finger-pointing and few real solutions. Last year, I wrote an op-ed calling on the state to embrace common sense standards for agricultural producers and take concrete steps toward curbing nutrient runoff. With minimal change in messaging and action from the state, this year I am calling on state agencies, the legislature, and stakeholders in the agricultural and urban sectors to embrace a new priority: improving soil health. 

Read More

Organics Diversion is an Important Part of the Michigan Recycling Solution

It's important to note that when Michigan professionals talk about "recycling," we're generally talking about the entire spectrum of waste diversion and recovery efforts that includes recycling, reuse, composting, anaerobic digestion, and product stewardship, among other things. As you see in the diagram (Material Recycled by Category in 2013), 56% of the state's current recycling rate is the result of progressive policies that divert materials from landfills and provide for collection of those materials. This happens in different ways; we ban materials such as the case with organics (Yard Waste Ban), we place an upfront value on materials such as in container deposits (MI Deposit Law), or by ensuring the availability of free and convenient collection as in take-back program materials (E-Waste Takeback). But typical recyclables collected at the curb and at drop-off sites actually account for less than half of Michigan's current estimated 15% recycling rate. 

Read More