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Governor to announce statewide recycling plan

Penn State

Gov. Rick Snyder wants more households in Michigan to recycle their waste. He's announcing a plan today to make that possible.

The plan will focus on four key areas – including developing markets for recycled products, and helping communities make recycling more convenient for residents.

“We really haven't kept up in the region,” said Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant. “A lot of states in the Great Lakes region are approaching 30 percent recycling. Our number is 15%, and then we've got states in the United States that are closer to 50%.”

The governor's goal is a 30% household recycling rate. He’s asking for $1.5 million in next year's budget to support the plan.

Part of that money will go to helping communities make recycling more convenient. That significantly improves the odds that people will actually do it.

Wyant says another big part of the governor's plan is to help create markets for recycled products. He says more than $435 million in recyclables get thrown into landfills every year in Michigan.

“So this is a significant amount of value lost,” he said.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.