FALLS CHURCH, VA April 26, 2016
The Recycling Partnership would provide seed money for the purchase of 7,000 residential recycling carts if Emmet County, Michigan, could raise enough funds to cover the balance of the cost. The County started contacting local companies, received a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and in short order had lined up funding from 16 sources. Together they met the challenge, The Partnership remained true to its word, and cart distribution is slated for summer 2016.
“According to The Recycling Partnership, we’re the only one to fund our carts this way,” said Elisa Seltzer, Director of the County’s Public Works Department. “We were going to just expand to a few our curbside communities first, but they said they’d give us the money if we can hand them out to everyone.”
The grant dollars will assist Emmet County with purchasing new recycling carts for the communities of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bear Creek Township, Little Traverse Township, and Resort Township. Additionally, the County will receive assistance with a customized public education campaign, and with technical planning to support the cart deliveries to its 7,000 households. The participating communities will maintain their dual stream recycling system with the conversion to carts. The carts will hold paper, boxes and bags, while existing totes will hold bottles, cartons, jugs and jars.
Regarding the full course of events, Jeff Meyers, The Recycling Partnership’s Development Director, explains: “Emmet County originally applied for a 2015 cart grant to transition two of their five communities with curbside to carts. Though they were not selected in the first round, they still had a great project. When some additional grant money opened up, we approached them with an offer of funding and a challenge to fundraise from local companies that use recycled materials. This project is a great example of when the recycling supply chain comes together to make change, everyone wins.”
Emmet County joins seven previous communities that have received these cart grants, including Santa Fe, NM and Richmond, VA. Each engagement is unique, but they share the common thread of improved access to convenient recycling and strong outreach for residents, resulting in more recovered tonnage for manufacturing feedstock. “I am extremely encouraged by the results to date from The Partnership’s city engagements, and have high hopes for the future of the Emmet County program. The County successfully recovers a diverse mix of recyclables, including plastic films, and increasing the curbside recycling capacity through carts is a best management practice worth supporting,” says Stephen Sikra, Materials Science and Technology Manager at the Procter & Gamble Company.
“As a founding member of The Recycling Partnership, The Can Manufacturers Institute is proud to support this work in Emmet County. It is a unique partnership story that highlights the power of relatively small grant dollars to leverage dramatic improvements in curbside recycling. We look forward to celebrating a successful cart distribution with the Emmet County and the recipient communities this summer,” says Megan Daum, VP, Sustainability, Can Manufacturers Institute and Chairman of The Recycling Partnership.
About The Recycling Partnership
The Recycling Partnership (recyclingpartnership.org) is a dynamic industry collaboration focused on systematically and measurably improving curbside recycling in the United States. Working with community and industry partners nationwide, our strength lies in our best-in-class operational and technical support, proven community outreach approaches, and highly-leveraged seed grants to communities.