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Postcards Aim to Reduce Junk Deposited at Drop Sites

Posted on September 18th, 2020

From our media release on the subject dated 9/18/20

Amongst all the election mail filling northern Michigan mailboxes, a more coolheaded postcard arrived last week. Its message: that, when it comes to recycling plastics, keeping it simple is the way to go. The postcard, which was sent to households in Cheboygan, Emmet, and Presque Isle counties is one part of a larger, grant-funded effort to improve the efficiency of the region’s recycling programs by cutting down on non-recyclables deposited at recycling drop-off sites.

The three counties are working on the project as a group because recyclables from all three are sorted and marketed by the Emmet County Recycling Center (ECR). Emmet County Recycling (ECR) operates a “dual-stream” system, meaning that day-to-day recyclables are collected in two groups: 1) Papers, Boxes and Bags and 2) Mixed Containers.

Almost 20% of the materials collected in the Mixed Containers bins are not recyclable. Examples of problem materials items include hangers, binders, luggage, hoses, toys, and even vinyl siding. “This means that 20% of our labor, fuel and equipment used to haul the Mixed Containers bins is going to waste. And 20% of our labor sorting these recyclables is just removing waste. It’s a


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