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Michigan sets new record for recycling

Landfill and recycling dumpsters
Lieza Klemm

State officials said Monday Michigan residents have set a new record for recycling for the third year in a row.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said state residents recycled nearly 23 percent of their waste over the last year. That rate increased from just under 15 percent before 2019.

Officials say diverting cardboard, glass, metals and other recyclables from landfills reduces the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to Michigan’s economic output.

"When Michiganders recycle cans and bottles, they get money back in their pockets and support Michigan businesses with the materials they need,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a news release. “We are becoming leaders on recycling and we must continue getting better.”

The state has a goal of recycling 30% of waste by 2029. To expand access to recycling facilities, EGLE is distributing more than $5 million in infrastructure improvement grants to local communities.

The funding will help pay for a number of projects, including building new drop-off and waste processing facilities. The city of Lansing is slated to receive $300,000 to help purchase a recycling truck as well as dumpsters to help process commercial waste.

"We know Michiganders want to recycle the right way, and ... we are providing them with the tools to do just that," said director of EGLE Phil Roos in a press release.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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