By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling
December 1, 2015
Emmet County, Mich. appears well on its way to providing carts to residents after receiving a grant from the state and an offer from The Recycling Partnership.
Emmet County Recycling (ECR), which services 7,600 curbside households in rural northern Michigan, has announced it has been awarded an $82,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and, as long as it can do some fundraising of its own, another $82,000 grant from industry nonprofit group The Recycling Partnership.
ECR is the county-run recycling division of the Emmet Department of Public Works. It has been active since 1990.
With a goal of providing all of its customers with carts by the end of 2016, ECR will use the MDEQ award to purchase 1,400 carts. In order to receive The Recycling Partnership grant, ECR has been tasked with coming up with enough funds to provide carts to the remainder of the county as well as the purchase of a new truck.
In a press release this week, county officials stated they were “now busy reaching out to additional sources of funding,” with its parent department already proposing $50,000 in budgetary spending for the project in 2015 and a handful of communities pledging to offer up almost $20,000. ECR stated it is also “in discussions with regional and statewide foundations and some of the corporations whose factories the recycling program provides [with feedstock].”
While carts are typically added to communities already with or transitioning to single-stream recycling, ECR plans on retaining its dual-stream program, which currently achieves a recycling rate of 42 percent. The county also utilizes a pay-as-you-throw disposal system in which residents are charged for trash based on the volume of material collected.
The state grant was part of Michigan’s ongoing efforts to boost a statewide recycling rate of 15 percent.