Plastics recycling rates in Michigan will go up, if new initiative works

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: April 14, 2014 4:15 pm ET
Updated: April 14, 2014 4:20 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Public Policy, Recycling

Clean Tech Inc. already recycles billions of plastic bottles every year, but the Dundee, Mich.-based company sees the opportunity to recycle billions more.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder also wants to significantly increase recycling in the state, and trekked to Clean Tech on April 14 to promote a plan to do just that.

Clean Tech, a unit of Plastipak Packaging Inc., expects to recycle about 6 billion plastic bottles this year and has an eye on 10 billion plastic bottles within three years. But that’s only if recycling rates improve in communities served by the company.

And that’s where Snyder’s newly unveiled 15-point plan to increase residential recycling statewide can play a part.

The plan includes four key areas: public education and technical assistance for communities; benchmark and measurement of progress; providing convenient access; and development of markets.

 “We’ve been throwing away money for decades. Addressing this issue is simply the right thing to do, and I’m pleased to announce we are committed to making Michigan a leader,” the governor said in a statement.

But the state, even with its own beverage container deposit law, has some heavy lifting to catch up with the national average.

Residential household waste recycling in Michigan is at about 15 percent these days, the governor’s office said. That compares to about 35 percent nationally.

Plastipak, which called itself “a long-term partner in helping develop Michigan’s environmental policy,” said it was part of a work group that met to develop the plan unveiled by the governor.

Michigan estimates about $435 million in recyclables, including plastics, find their way into Michigan landfills every year.

Michigan is earmarking $1 million in the governor’s recommended fiscal year 2015 budget as well as another $500,000 from the state Department of Environmental Quality over the next two years in the form of pollution prevention grants.

Along with developing a statewide plan to boost recycling, the governor also revealed appointments to a newly created Michigan Recycling Council.

The council is designed to represent a variety of viewpoints. Jim Kulp, operations manager at Clean Tech, will represent plastics processors. His is the state’s largest bottle recycling facility.

Michael Csapo, general manager of Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County, will represent the recycling community. Linda Gobler, CEO of the Michigan Growers Association, will represent retailers. Bill Lobenherz, president of the Michigan Soft Drink Association, will represent bottlers.

Kerrin O’Brien, executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition, will represent environmental interests. Tonia Olson, director of governmental and community relations at solid waste management company Granger, will represent the solid waste industry. Elisa Seltzer, public workers director for Emmet County, will represent public and community interests.

Doug Wood, director of the Kent County Department of Public Works, will represent local governments and regions. And Jim Frey, CEO and co-founder of Resource Recycling Systems, will represent academics and consultants.

Clean Tech recycles both PET and high density polyethylene.


Comments

Plastics recycling rates in Michigan will go up, if new initiative works

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: April 14, 2014 4:15 pm ET
Updated: April 14, 2014 4:20 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Injection molder, recycler Polyvulc USA puts itself up for sale

July 24, 2014 12:41 pm ET

Fred Farrell and Larry Lambiotte, founders of Polyvulc USA Inc. and its subsidiaries Polyvulc Tire Recycling Llc and Winnsboro Rubber Recycling LLC,...    More

Image

Study: 100 times less plastic than expected polluting ocean surface

July 23, 2014 3:46 pm ET

There's as much as 100 times less plastic floating on surface of the world's oceans than would be expected given the mushrooming use of the material...    More

Image

Molder provides quality parts and quality work for disabled adults

July 23, 2014 2:40 pm ET

Coarc Manufacturing Inc. does injection molding, assembly and all of the work of traditional manufacturer, but it also serves as part of Coarc Inc. a ...    More

OSHA probes alleged asthma link to Lear's Selma, Ala., plant

July 23, 2014 11:58 am ET

U.S. foam manufacturer Renosol Seating LLC is being investigated following allegations its workers are at risk of asthma from TDI exposure at its...    More

Image

Plastics industry blasted for stance in green building debate

July 22, 2014 2:45 pm ET

The plastics industry has taken high-profile stance in the debate over green building standards. The result, today at least, is that it's getting some...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events