2019 Recycler of the Year Award Winners Just Keep Increasing Sustainability

Posted on June 13th, 2019

David and Lindsey show off the Back Lot's compost binsfrom our June 13, 2019 Media Release

When David Meikle and Steve Steffes opened their first restaurant in Petoskey, Tap30, they immediately signed up for Emmet County Recycling’s (ECR) curbside collection service. When ECR piloted collection of food scraps and other compostables from businesses in 2015, Tap30 was one of the inaugural customers. And they haven’t stopped taking on new sustainability initiatives since! The partners soon added Pour Kitchen and Bar, one door west of Tap30 on Mitchell Street. Then Meikle and his wife Missy built The Back Lot, a bar “with food trucks” right behind Tap30 at 425 Michigan Street.  Each step of the way, as their enterprises grew, the partners and their staff took action to minimize and recover wastes from the businesses. For this proactive approach to reducing, reusing and recycling, the three restaurants and their owners have been named Emmet County Recycling’s 2019 Recycler of the Year Award winners.


As Emmet County Recycling’s commercial food scraps collection pilot proceeded, ECR staff checked in with the businesses about how it was going.  In late 2015, ECR Recycling Outreach leader Lindsey Walker contacted Tap30 sous chef Justin Reyes and chef Brian Roberts to get their feedback. The

Andi Shepherd Named Director of DPW

Posted on April 25th, 2019
Andi Shepherd, the new director of the Emmet County Department of Public Works

Andi Shepherd

HARBOR SPRINGS — Andi Shepherd, a longtime Emmet County employee and resident, will be taking over as the director of the Department of Public Works.

John Calabrese, Emmet County administrator, announced the promotion Wednesday in an email to county staff and commissioners, which he also forwarded to the News-Review. Shepherd has been working as interim director of the department since former director Elisa Seltzer resigned in January. Before then, Shepherd had worked for several years as assistant to the director.

“I already have a taste of what the job entails,” Shepherd said in an interview with the News-Review. “I’ve been with the department for four years and I know there’s a great team behind me.”

She said her goal is to continue the forward momentum that has consistently brought success — and attention — to the department in past years.

Read More

ECR Director Moves On After Three Decades

Posted on January 17th, 2019
Elisa Seltzer in front of the Pleasantview Road Facility

Elisa Seltzer, Recycling Rock Star

From ECR’s January 17, 2019 Media Release

“We always recycle! We love what you do! Thank you for doing such a great job!” The staff of Emmet County Recycling (ECR) hears this kind of thing every day and much of that sentiment can be credited to Elisa Seltzer, longtime director of the county’s Department of Public Works (DPW).

Seltzer, who spearheaded the development of ECR into the locally-popular and nationally-prominent program it is today, is moving on after three decades. She leaves a legacy of solid programs and many new developments in the works.

Seltzer’s accomplishments serve every Emmet County resident and business nearly every day. Over 80 percent of county households recycle their paper, cardboard and containers. Garbage disposed in the county flows through the Solid Waste Transfer Station which she has overseen since 1990. Her accomplishments reach far beyond Emmet County though.

Emmet County Recycling’s program has had a profound impact on recycling throughout the “tip-of-the-mitt” region. The popularity and growth of the program provided leaders in neighboring counties with a thriving example of rural recycling. ECR’s materials recovery facility (MRF) processes and markets recyclables from Cheboygan, Otsego and Presque Isle counties under

Did Drop-site Vandal Have a Message?

Posted on December 28th, 2018

drop-site recycling bin with black dots painted on labelsRecycling program staff from Emmet County found extensive spray painting on a “mixed-containers” (bottles, jugs, jars, cups, trays, etc.) recycling bin located at the drop site behind Toski-Sands Plaza in Petoskey Monday morning. But, they report, the vandal may have been well-meaning, if misguided.

The paint specifically covered over small yellow decals with the message “no bags here.” The decals were placed on many mixed-containers bins this fall to address a problem with plastic bags being put in the mixed-containers bins. Plastic bags are recyclable but belong in the “papers-boxes-and-bags” bin or curbside rolling carts.

Emmet County Recycling (ECR) collects plastic bags with the paper and boxes because the factory that recycles the plastic bags—Trex, a manufacturer of composite decking—needs the bags to be dry. The mixed-containers come with enough residual liquids to contaminate the film-plastic bags.

The painter left no other marks on the bin, leading ECR communications coordinator Kate Melby to conclude that they vandal may have thought the yellow decals were inaccurate. “They may have been advocating for plastic-bag recycling. Many people think—intuitively—that plastic bags go with the other plastics: in the mixed containers with the plastic bottles, cups, tubs, and trays. Perhaps this individual thought

© 2019 Emmet County, Michigan • All Rights Reserved

Produced by Gaslight Media