Gov. Rick Snyder Announces Statewide Initiatives to Reduce Waste and Improve Michigan's Recycling Rate

Press Release

Date: Feb. 2, 2018
Location: Lansing, MI
Issues: Environment

In an ongoing effort to reduce waste and increase Michigan's recycling rate, Gov. Rick Snyder today signed an Executive Directive requiring all State of Michigan facilities to provide on-site recycling opportunities. The Governor also announced the launch of Re:Source, an initiative that will promote the use of recycled materials in economic and business opportunities across Michigan.

"As a state, we need to be smarter about how we manage waste in order to protect our environment," Gov. Rick Snyder said. "I'm proud the State of Michigan will lead this effort by making recycling opportunities available at all state government facilities, parks and rest areas. The Re:Source initiative also will help strengthen Michigan's foundation for the future by promoting the value of repurposing used materials in a way that boosts economic development opportunities."

Through signing the Executive Directive, Gov. Snyder is calling on the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget to present a toolkit to all State of Michigan departments that provides educational materials regarding the use of recycling services. The Governor has directed that all state owned, managed or leased facilities provide recycling services within one year of the issuance of today's directive.

Re:Source is part of the statewide initiative to triple Michigan's recycling rate as outlined by Gov. Snyder. In addition to increasing recycling market development, the initiative seeks to:

Create a statewide recycling education campaign to address Michigan's extremely low recycling rate
Update Michigan's solid waste laws so that we no longer encourage the wasteful practices of the past, such as encouraging the construction of landfills instead of encouraging the development of recycling.
Have the state government lead by example through increasing recycling opportunities at state facilities, parks, and rest areas.
With support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Re:Source will serve to address the unique challenges manufacturers face when trying to recycle and provides services that help meet their needs. Re:Source will provide tools to businesses to spur recycling innovation by helping firms make connections to manage their supply and demand for recycled commodities. These tools include the new Recycled Materials Market Directory at which includes a searchable listing of companies buying and selling recycled materials like paper, metal, glass, and plastic.

"Recycling is an important first step in managing resources wisely to protect Michigan's air, land, and water," said Heidi Grether, Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. "This initiative makes a clear statement that protecting Michigan's environment is good for Michigan's economy. At just 15 percent, Michigan's recycling rate is much too low, especially when our neighboring states average 35 percent. Recyclable commodities are present -- now it's a matter of forming the partnerships and resources to access them."

Re:Source also is creating a recycling exchange marketplace where companies can share knowledge on methods to increase recycling or find materials to incorporate into the products they make. The initiative is providing businesses the opportunity to access training and networking opportunities to gain knowledge on successful ways to achieve their environmental sustainability goals.

MEDC supported the initiative by conducting a customer survey questionnaire to gauge interest by Michigan's manufacturing companies and will assist with creating awareness among the state's business community.

"Re:Source aims to be Michigan's source for recycling innovation," said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "Michigan's businesses have a strong interest in managing materials sustainably while helping their bottom line. Recycling does this. We're pleased to support and provide resources to this important effort."