ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – On Friday, representatives from municipalities throughout the U.P. met at Bay College for a Michigan Recycling Coalition regional meeting.
According to Michigan Recycling Coalition Executive Director Kerrin O’Brien, the state will soon require each county to create a materials management plan.
“Basically, that means for recycling and composting and garbage,” O’Brien said. “We’re talking to them about what the process is, how counties can engage in that process, and how counties can work together in that process.”
“We’re talking a little bit about how to start new recycling programs, some innovative things to do with solid waste, how this will affect landfills,” said Ryan Carrig, community planner for the Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development (CUPPAD) Regional Commission.
O’Brien says the goal is to create solid waste management systems that are more effective for Upper Peninsula residents and businesses.
“We want to keep materials that are already circulating in our economy working for us rather than going to the landfill, because there’s value there,” O’Brien said. “If we can keep them out of the landfill, we can put that value to work for us.”
One resource O’Brien believes the Upper Peninsula can utilize to accomplish that goal is Recycle 906 in Marquette.
“Recycle 906 can separate all of the recyclables out and bale it into really usable material that goes on the market to be used in the development and production of new products,” O’Brien said. “Recycle 906 can take probably most of the U.P.’s material. Making programs available to U.P. residents adds to our economy, and that’s what we’re about.”
Carrig hopes attendees left the event with the knowledge and tools they need to take on the new materials management plan requirements.
“CUPPAD wants them to be as prepared as possible for the upcoming planning and to do whatever we can to help,” he said.
Click here to learn more about the Michigan Recycling Coalition.