MRC Board Elections & Bylaws Revision

Michigan Recycling Coalition members will elect 8 new board members to represent their interests on the Board of Directors leading up to and at the Annual Conference on May 15th. Current MRC members in good standing received their ballots electronically on April 15th. If you are a member and haven't received your ballot, please check your junk email first and contact the MRC office at (517) 974-3672 to resolve the issue. If you'd like to vote and aren't a member, please consider joining the Coalition. Learn more about membership here. 

Business Category - 3 seats open

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Trash can get picked up in lame duck

As published in the Detroit News, November 25, 2018

By Kerrin O'Brien, Executive Director
Michigan Recycling Coalition

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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. 

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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.

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MRC Executive Director Kerrin O'Brien testimony before House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Environmental Quality

March 6, 2018

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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. 

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Michigan Recycling Coalition Launches New Recycle, MI Website

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      Contact:  Kerrin O’Brien

January 6, 2017                                                         517 974-3672

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MRC in Flint

When an entire city’s water supply is delivered in single serve water bottles, the management of those empty bottles becomes an issue and an opportunity. In the wake of the water crisis, several Flint-area businesses stepped up to expand recycling opportunities and give Flint residents more options for recycling their empty water bottles. Schupan Recycling, Metro Sanitation Services, and Star Lease having been working together for the past 11 months to collect, store, transport and process Flint’s water bottles for recycling. Their contribution can be seen at the nine State managed water distribution points, where residents are also encouraged to bring back their recycled bottles.

On November 14, as a lead up to America Recycles Day, those businesses were recognized by the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) for their good deeds. APR is working through the Michigan Recycling Coalition and a small group Flint stakeholders who are exploring ways to spend a financial donation from APR to support and encourage continued recycling in Flint. Schupan, Metro and Star each received a donation and thank you from APR and the stakeholder group.

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A Case for Glass Recycling

Glass recycling has been a hot topic of late and the long-standing trope is that glass competes with sand as its virgin counterpart and there is no shortage of sand. As it turns out, however, there is a global shortage of sand, as one might expect of any finite resource.  This New York Times article will give you a sense of the degree to which sand is being mined and the impact of such mining. 

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Fall into the MRC!

The State of the MRC

On October 1st, the MRC entered its 35th fiscal year, and its most ambitious year yet. With a more concise and inclusive mission and aggressive goals, the MRC is heading into 2017 with purpose and conviction. The MRC faces its greatest opportunity and challenge as it begins the important work of leading the effort to move proactive recycling policy and funding through the legislature before the end of Governor Snyder's final term in office. Read the full report! 

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Who really loses?

Who Really Loses?

The environmental and economic benefits of recycling are well documented. Recycling creates more jobs than disposal, and manufacturing with recycled commodities just makes good business sense. So why does it seem like we’re going backwards?

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Indian River SummerFest 2016

Over the long weekend of July 21st-24th, the Michigan Recycling Coalition, with the generous financial help of the Steve Chalker Memorial Fund (SCMF), helped bring the message of Recycle, MI to SummerFest in Indian River for the second year. SCMF Volunteers placed and serviced about 25 bins along the streets of downtown Indian River, Devoe Beach, and Marina Park. This year's efforts over the 4 days of the festival produced 168 pounds of recyclables - three times the amount collected at last year's SummerFest!

The hard work of volunteers and the generous support of SCMF donors and volunteers and SummerFest sponsors are what made this SummerFest recycling effort such a success. Recycling was expanded this year to collect plastics #1-6, cardboard, and aluminum cans. The MRC staffed an educational booth where local recycling information was provided along with an educational game called "Bin it to Win it." Booth educational tools were donated by Schupan Recycling. Booth game prizes were donated by Brasswind Landing, Big Bear Adventures, and Dairy Mart

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Recycling at SummerFest in Indian River

Indian River, MI - The statewide Recycle, MI campaign and the Steve Chalker Memorial Fund (SCMF) will sponsor recycling at SummerFest in Indian River, MI this year. Recycle, MI is a marketing campaign developed to raise awareness and participation in recycling programs across the state and to encourage recycling "where you live, work, and play." The Steve Chalker Memorial Fund was created in memory of Indian River native Steve Chalker after his passing in 2014. He was a passionate recycling professional and was a board member of the Michigan Recycling Coalition (MRC) for many years. On July 22nd and 23rd, MRC staff and local volunteers can be found at a booth during the craft fair at SummerFest with games, prizes, and information on local recycling resources. With funding from SCMF, recycling containers and services will be available throughout the downtown area and at the local beach. 

Help us help you! Below are some easy tips for proper recycling at SummerFest: 

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Summer Intern Jenny McCullen

Jenny comes to the MRC from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she is majoring in Sustainable Business (just like Katie!) and minoring in Women's Studies. 

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