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Recycling Grants for Communities Available from EGLE and The Recycling Partnership

Posted on August 10, 2021 by Herasanna Richards

The national nonprofit The Recycling Partnership and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) want members of the Michigan Municipal League to know about an exciting grant opportunity totaling $575,000 that exists for communities statewide in 2021 to dramatically improve residential recycling.

EGLE and The Partnership are encouraging elected officials and local government leaders to apply for these grants that can help Michiganders improve the quality of materials they recycle at curbside or drop-off locations, as well as reduce recycling contamination.

All Michigan community recycling programs are eligible to apply for these grants from EGLE and The Partnership of up to $4 per household for curbside programs and up to $3 per household for drop-off programs.

Applications are due Aug. 20, 2021, and complete instructions can be found in the request for proposals at recyclingpartnership.org/michiganrfp.

In addition to continuing to build on the success of Michigan’s award-winning Know It Before You Throw It recycling education campaign, grantees with curbside recycling service will utilize The Partnership’s nationally acclaimed Feet on the Street cart-tagging program – an initiative designed to improve the quality of curbside recycling by providing residents personalized and real-time education and feedback on their recycling practices.

Grantees with drop-off recycling services will use a modified version of the Feet on the Street program to combat recycling contamination and illegal dumping at recycling drop-off sites while also improving awareness and participation in the local recycling program.

Highlights for successful grantees include:

  • Selected drop-off recycling program grantees will benefit from inclusive signage and site improvements, security upgrades such as cameras, increased recycling participation, and other opportunities to educate households on what is and isn’t recyclable.
  • Selected curbside grantees will benefit from the use of The Partnership’s new mobile app.
  • All grantees will have access to EGLE and The Partnership’s expertise to help create and distribute effective recycling education materials such as direct mail and targeted digital and social media campaigns.

The 2021 grant opportunity will build on recent successes at combating recycling contamination in more than 100 Michigan communities that were previously awarded similar grants. The City of Grand Rapids, for example, was recently announced as the winner of the 2021 Program of the Year Award from industry leader Resource Recycling. Grand Rapids’ submission materials to the awards program reported a contamination rate of 7.4%, which is far lower than what’s being seen in many local programs in the U.S., where contamination rates above 20% are common. (The metric describes the percentage of material put in recycling carts by residents that do not belong in the recycling cart).

Based on our combined track record of achievement with local partners, EGLE and The Partnership are looking to develop new partners in the Upper Peninsula, West Michigan, and Mid-Michigan. To learn more, visit recyclingpartnership.org/michiganrfp.

Herasanna Richards is a legislative associate handling energy, environmental, elections, and external municipal services for the League. She can be reached at hrichards@mml.org or 517-908-0309.

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