- Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation this week that will better help the state determine its baseline recycling rate. The legislation will establish a statewide data collection system requiring recyclers to report the volume they collect and ship, according to Waste Management World.
- Senate Bill 507 will require recyclers to submit records annually or quarterly to the Department of Environmental Quality.
- Exempt parties include retailers that collect returnable beverage containers, the materials' end users, and drop-off sites that transport materials to a registered recycling site.
Michigan had set a goal to roughly double its municipal recycling rate to 30% by this year, but local governments have had no way of definitively knowing they had already reached about 15%. The law will provide a mechanism to give them a starting point to improve what they at least know is a weak diversion rate—not close to where they wanted to be by 2016.
"Michigan can do much better on our recycling rate, and the first step to improvement is figuring out where we stand today," said Snyder in a statement.
He has been working creatively to rally stakeholders in the name of competition to bump recycling, including through a private-public project where team players are charged with garnering community support.
This new law is another way to shine light on the issue by tracking what is going on now to know how to navigate forward. The state has prepared a long list of categories of waste and waste generators it will be keeping an eye on to do so.