Michigan Recycling Coalition EGLE Celebrates Progress Over 40 Years

From the Bottle Bill to the Trash-O-Meter to expanding curbside recycling, the Michigan Recycling Coalition (MRC) is celebrating its 40and milestone year this year. The anniversary will be celebrated today at the MRC’s 40th Annual Conference at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. The MRC is committed to fostering sustainability by leading, educating and mobilizing business, government, non-profit organizations and individuals to advance resource reuse and recovery.

Over MRC’s 40-year history, it has built networks and partnerships, collected and shared recycling data, brought together stakeholders to assess and advocate for recycling policy, conducted research, promoted recycling solutions and reuse and addressed issues in the recycling supply chain. MRC facilitates learning opportunities, shares information, tools, resources and guidance to help local governments and businesses expand their resource recovery and achieve sustainability goals by managing our natural resources for the benefit of the environment. environment, economy and our communities.

Matt Flechter, recycling market development specialist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, will speak at the conference on recycling funding priorities.

While many challenges remain to realize the state’s full recycling potential, Michigan has come a long way since 1976, when the era of recycling began. Here are the highlights:

  • 1976 – Bottle bill was approved by voters on November 2.
  • 1978 – The Bottle Deposit Act is implemented on December 3.
  • 1982 – The Michigan Recycling Coalition is formed.
  • 1988 – The Natural Resources Commission adopts the 1988 Solid Waste Policy and Waste Hierarchy.
  • 1988 – Voters approved a Quality of Life Bond, $150 million for public and private sector grants and loans to reduce solid waste disposal.
  • 1989 – The Bottle Deposit Act was amended to add wine coolers and address the collection and distribution of deposit.
  • 1991 – The Scrap Tire Act is enacted.
  • 1994 – The Legislature banned the removal of garden clippings, effective March 30, 1995.
  • 2000 – EGLE’s (then DEQ) first Recycling Specialist position is funded.
  • 2001 – MRC released first recycling measurement study.
  • 2002 – Trash-O-Meter gained international attention by highlighting imports of Canadian trash from Michigan.
  • 2003 – Senate Task Force on Beverage Containers and Recycling recommended improving recycling and increasing the solid waste surcharge to fund recycling, established the first solid waste surcharge of 7 cents per cubic meter of solid waste disposed.
  • 2004 – The Solid Waste Act was amended to prohibit the disposal of returnable beverage containers and used tires in landfills.
  • 2005 – EGLE (then DEQ) released a report titled “Recommendations for Improving and Expanding Recycling in Michigan” with recommendations modify the solid waste planning process.
  • 2007 – The state solid waste policy was updated, refocusing on use as the preferred option to landfill.
  • 2007 – The solid waste surcharge of 7 cents per cubic meter was extended through 2011.
  • 2008 – Solid waste regulations were amended to require composting facilities to register and meet new handling requirements.
  • 2008 – The Electronic Waste Take-Back Act was enacted with an effective date of April 1, 2010.
  • 2011 – MRC releases »2011 State of Recycling in Michigan: A Way Forward.”
  • 2011 – The solid waste surcharge was increased to 12 cents per cubic yard.
  • 2012 – Solid waste regulations were updated to prohibit open burning of waste.
  • 2012 – The Governor created the Solid Waste Financing Task Force.
  • 2013 – The Bottle Deposit Act was amended to exempt flexible pouches.
  • 2014 – Governor announced Michigan’s Recycling Initiative and Action Plan.
  • 2015 – The solid waste surcharge of 12 cents per cubic yard was extended to 2019.
  • 2017 – The Recycling Measurement Act is enacted.
  • 2018 – Governor’s Recycling Council and Solid Waste and Sustainability Advisory Committee published recommendations:
    • Updates, revision and proposed comments on the solid waste law.
    • The Governor proposed and Senator Nofs sponsored Senate Bill 943 to increase the solid waste surtax to fund solid waste, recycling, and brownfields cleanup programs.
  • 2018 – Public Law 588 was passed creating a Renew Michigan fund allocating 22% of revenue to recycling and 13% to waste management oversight.
  • 2019 to present – ​​EGLE has administered grants to support recycling infrastructure, recycling market development, and other recycling projects.
  • 2021 – Internal Bill 4454-4461 that would modernize Michigan’s recycling and solid waste programs passed the House and moved to the Senate.

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