Michigan Recycling Nearly $2 Billion Industry with only 16% Recycling Rate

Lansing, MI - The Michigan Recycling Coalition (MRC) has posted the results of the Michigan Recycling Measurement Study on its website. These numbers are preliminary numbers and do not include the return rate on beverage containers, which have a return deposit.

According the MRC the results illustrate the need for a proactive approach to fostering recycling programs, businesses and markets in the State. With a total population in Michigan of 9,938,944 and a total of 748 curbside and dropoff programs serving an estimated 5,301,583 and 3,409,686 people respectively, Michiganders are clearly underserved.

Municipalities, townships and villages provide for the majority of programs. These local units operate and/or manage a total of 493 programs. County agencies operate and/or manage a total of 150 programs, while governmental authorities, private businesses, and non-profits are responsible for 46, 40 and 21 respectively. A total of 225 curbside and 92 dropoff programs accept residential yard waste; this provides services to 2,915, 210 (30 percent of the population) and 4,302,810 (43 percent of the population) Michiganders respectively. Michigan has a total of 163 compost sites and 49 material recovery facilities.

With a 16 percent recycling rate, Michigan is behind the average of 26 percent for Great Lake States, as reported by BioCycle in their 12th annual nationwide survey, examining disposal, incineration, recycling, composting, and wood recovery activities. When compared to recycling rate averages for the six other national regions, Michigan falls behind states in every region except the Mid Atlantic, which has a 15 percent average.

Even with a 16 percent recycling rate, the recycling industry is estimated at nearly $2 billion per year in Michigan. Economic impacts show that recycling is a strong industry with powerful growth potential. MRC estimates that recycling processing activities alone, not including collection or endues/manufacturing, generated total revenues of $1,952 million in 1999. Additionally, recycling processing resulted in 5,687 jobs, and approximately $243 million in wages in 1999.

The Michigan Recycling Measurement Study is available for download on the website at www.michiganrecycles.org, by calling MRC at 517-371-7073 or e-mail at info@michiganrecycles.org.

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