Michigan is offering grants of up to $500,000 to improve local recycling programs. When Emmet County got a similar state grant, it bought new and bigger recycling bins for curbside pickup. The amount of recycling jumped. That’s the kind of improvement the state is hoping for with the new round of grants because its recycling rate is way below national averages.
Local officials say they need funds for special processing equipment for waste that otherwise degrades recycled products and causes expensive disposal problems.
Supporters of the ban say a statewide law is needed to avoid patchwork regulation that hinders businesses with multiple locations.
Michigan may authorize new uses for toxic coal ash by Great Lakes Echo
One of the bills that cleared the Michigan legislature this session was a provision that allows certain bio-waste materials to be re-used for beneficial purposes. These substances include things like cement kiln dust, wood pulp and coal ash. Coal ash is the leftover residue from coal burned by electric power plants. The bill permits coal ash to be used in road construction, but it may also be used in agriculture as a fertilizer supplement, causing some environmental advocates to become concerned. Current State’s Kevin Lavery speaks with Republican State Representative Wayne Schmidt, the bill’s main sponsor, who strongly states that coal ash is completely safe and does not pose any environmental threats.