On Monday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced a statewide plan designed to increase residential recycling across the state. He also announced appointments to a nine-member Recycling Council to guide the plan's implementation. Snyder had previously called on the Department of Environmental Quality to assemble a group and develop a plan.

The governor said that "Michigan has a string tradition of protecting and enhancing its environment. But when it comes to recycling, we must do better. Michigan trails other Great Lakes states and much of the nation in residential recycling. It's a complex challenge, but one that we can address. This plan puts us on the right path."

Michigan's recycling rate for residential  household waste is about 15 percent. The national average is 34 percent. A recent study concluded more that $435 million in recyclable metal, glass, paper and plastics goes from Michigan households to Michigan landfills each year.

The 15 point plan will focus on four key areas:

  • Benchmark and measure progress which includes developing ways to better track the state's recycling rate and documenting the progress.
  • Public education and technical assistance for communities after other states reported that an informed and supportive public was and is key to increased recycling.
  • Provide convenient access after seeing that other successful programs feature convenient access at the local level.
  • Develop markets by stimulation of market opportunities for recycled products which can be addressed with grants and other economic incentives.

To learn more about recycling opportunities in Michigan or to see the rest of Michigan's plan, go to www.Michigan.gov/MIrecycles.