The Michigan Recycling Coalition employs the expertise of its Board of Directors and members to take positions on policy issues important to the growth and development of the recycling industry in Michigan.
"Open burning" refers to the act of burning waste materials in a container where smoke is able to be released into the air without passing through a filtering system, like a chimney, first. The chemicals and substances that are released into the air during this process are often dangerous and toxic. Improper burning poses a fire hazard and can cause health problems. The MRC takes a stand against open burning. More information about open burning is available on the Michigan DEQ website.
Yard Waste Ban Exemptions
Michigan law rightly bans disposal of yard debris in Michigan landfills. The Michigan Recycling Coalition is fully supportive of this policy. Through the Policy Resolution the MRC formally opposes exemptions to Michigan's Yard Waste Ban that seek to increase the disposal of organic yard debris in landfills. The MRC Policy Statement identifies the many reasons yard debris does not belong in Michigan landfills.
Electronics Recovery & Recycling
As our use and dependence upon electronic communication tools increases, so does the need to capture those resources for recycling. In 2008, the Michigan legislature passed a law that requires manufacturers and distributers to provide free, convenient recycling opportunities for their products. Michigan's Electronic Waste Tackback Program has jump-started electronic recovery but many electronics remain stored in basements and sent to the landfill. The Michigan Recycling Coalition, through member and stakeholder dialogue, developed a set of recommendations, aimed at improving the program and ultimately collecting more end-of-life electronics for reuse and recycling.
As recycled commodities become more valuable in the marketplace the scavenging of those materials also increases. Recycling service providers need protection from theft and the Michigan Recycling Coalition developed this policy statement to bring attention and action to the issue.
The growing product stewardship movement in the United States seeks to ensure that those who design, manufacture, sell, and use consumer products take responsibility for reducing negative impacts to the economy, environment, public health, and worker safety. These impacts can occur throughout the lifecycle of a product and its packaging, and are associated with energy and materials consumption; waste generation; toxic substances; greenhouse gases; and other air and water emissions. In a product stewardship approach, manufacturers that design products and specify packaging have the greatest ability, and therefore greatest responsibility, to reduce these impacts by attempting to incorporate the full lifecycle costs into the cost of doing business. The MRC Board of Directors passed a resolution in support of this movement.
An easy way to think about recycling markets is comparing them to a garage sale you might have in your own home. Garage sales usually require a lot of thought, preparation, and time- but if you know you can make a little money over the weekend, this effort is usually worth it. If you knew no one would be interested in your old stuff, would you still go through the steps to set up your garage sale? Probably not. All of those outgrown and outdated items would most likely be thrown away.
Recycling is handled in a similar way. In order for a recovery facility to accept materials, they must be confident that they will be able to sell that material to an interested manufacturer that can then make it into commodities. This is called a Recycling Market.
Certain materials like cardboard and metals are considered to have a good market because there are buyers interested in them. Other materials have a smaller market because they are less valuable, therefore less desirable.
Many times, recycling markets are the determining factor in whether a not a facility or a community will accept a certain material for recycling. Check with your local recycling contact to find out more information about recycling markets in your area.