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Schupan leader working to improve and increase recycling in Michigan

Russ White, Tom Emmerich
Russ White, Tom Emmerich

Tom Emmerich is chief operating officer for Schupan and president of Schupan Recycling. He joins me on MSU Today to talk about the state and future of recycling in Michigan.

Emmerich talks about the “tremendous growth” Schupan has experienced in the last five years, growing from about 400 employees to 650.

“In a nutshell, we’re an aluminum scrap processer and marketer of materials, and we’re an aluminum and plastics manufacturer and distributor. We’re family-owned and over 50 years old and headquartered in Kalamazoo. We’re now doing business in over 25 countries. Our footprint has expanded tremendously, and our future is bright.”

He talks about the challenges and opportunities facing Schupan and Michigan’s recycling industry. And he discusses the state and evolution of Michigan’s popular bottle deposit law.

Emmerich shares his 4 E’s of a successful recycling program: Education, Ease, Efficient logistics and operations, and Economically viable markets for the materials.

“If you are not taking your containers back today, please reconsider. We need to get those containers back into the system. My intent is to maintain the country’s most efficient bottle deposit law and the success we’ve had as a state with a program we should all be really proud of.”

MSU Today airs Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 5 a.m. on WKAR News/Talk and Sundays at 8 p.m. on 760 WJR. Find “MSU Today with Russ White” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your shows.