Layout Variations

In addition to the popular Annual Conference, the MRC offers a wide variety of training and educational opportunities throughout the year. They will be listed on this page and on our calendar as information becomes available. Interested in any of these trainings, or think we can help you in another way? Give us call, (517) 974-3672. We deliver programming based on need and interest.


 Current Trainings: 


MRM training is being offered as a three part series this fall 2017: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday October 5th, Thursday October 19th, and Thursday, November 2nd. Training will take place at the Isabella County Commission on Aging, 2200 S. Lincoln Rd., Mt. Pleasant, MI, 48858

MRC Members: $350 series
Non-Members: $500 series

Register Now

Participants will gain the knowledge and resources necessary to support successful materials and recycling management programs. The training series is open to individuals in both the public and private sector. While ideal for those new to the industry, the practiced professional will also learn new approaches, gain new perspectives and have the opportunity to share their experience in this interactive format. Upon satisfactory completion of all 3 sections, participants will have earned a training certificate. 

Become a local expert on recycling and sustainable materials management. Understand the complexities of providing recycling opportunities and services in almost any setting. Learn about the industry and recycled materials collection, processing and markets. Promote recycling where you live, work and play.

Interested in sponsoring MRM training? We have a variety of options to meet your sponsorship goals. View sponsor benefits

Register Now

 Current 2017 MRM Sponsors:

Sponsors:   Isabella-County-joins-MITN-Purchasing-Group



{slider Deconstruction Training|blue|closed}

Decon Training Logo

The MRC sponsored a new Deconstruction Training on October 15th 2015 at the MSU Surplus Store 468 Green Way, East Lansing, MI 48824

Objectives & Benefits

Learn how to manage a deconstruction site and the recovery of materials while gaining knowledge of the economic, social and environmental benefits.Study how to identify and evaluate the value of materials, as well as the feasibility to remove them.Learn how to best educate crews for maximum efficiency and compliance.Gain knowledge about the local salvage and resale markets.Networking opportunities within the deconstruction and demolition field.Receive educational materials, monitoring checklists, economic analysis worksheets and much more.Participants are eligible for 7.5 Credits through the GBCI.


 {slider Master Business Recycler|blue}

Focused training to help businesses develop and enhance in-house recycling programs

{slider Master Recycler|blue}

In-depth study on recycling for the individual. Based on the Master Gardener approach to continuing education. 

{slider Master Recycler - train the trainer|blue}

Training for recycling professionals who wish to teach a Master Recycler program in their community.

{slider Composter Operators Training|blue}

Training for professional level operators of large-scale composting operations.

{slider Master Composter|blue}

In-depth study on composting for the individual. Based on the Master Gardener approach to continuing education.

{slider Master Composter - train the trainer|blue}

Training for recycling and composting professionals who wish to teach a Master Composter program in their community.


More information and general resources coming soon!


Basic Material Conversion Chart


Summary of forums, link to FIR and SIR, any other forums that have been put on.

The Michigan Recycling Coalition often gets questions about what can be recycled where. Every community has different opportunities and policies regarding recycling. Find information on your county by checking the DEQ Michigan Map. You can also use our Recycling Directory to search for a specific location and/or material.

Another good resource is the MRC listserv. MRC members have access to archived discussions and can post any questions or answers they may have. Not a member? Click here to find out how to join, gaining access to this and other important resources.

Some common questions and answers are listed here. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Feel free to explore the website or contact our office for the answers you need.

Q: Why can’t I recycle _________________?

A: All recyclable materials must be collected, separated and ultimately sold as commodities in the marketplace to be economically sustainable. If the end-of-life product or packaging you want to recycle costs more to collect, separate and process, it may not yet contain enough value to process into a new product, and it is unlikely the material will be recycled. However, technologies, regulations, and industry needs are constantly changing. What may not be recyclable this year may become recyclable in the future. You may also be surprised by the number of types of material that are recycled. See Recycling Markets for more information.

Q: Doesn’t it cost more to recycle something than it does to just throw it away?

A: Whether you choose to put something in the trash or in the recycling bin there is a cost for the service to collect the material at your curb and transport it either to the landfill, incinerator or material recovery facility (MRF). Tipping fees at the landfill or incinerator generally pay for the costs of disposal. However, these facilities have to be monitored for the long-term and their environmental impacts (i.e.c contaminated groundwater) are absorbed by society as a whole. Tipping fees and disposal costs are avoided if the material is transported to a material recovery facility. There are costs to separate and process the recyclables into commodity streams that are then sold to companies as feedstock for production. So while there is a cost to recycle, the benefits often exceed the expense. Commodity sales often offset recycling costs and even generate revenue to pay for other services.

Q: What does the number on the bottom of my plastic container mean?

A: Recyclable plastics usually have a number, 1-7, printed on the bottom of the container. It identifies the type of plastic the container is made out of, making it easier for recovery facilities to sort them into the correct category. These plastics go on to be made into specific products based on the original type of plastic. This helpful document explains the different types of plastics, what products they are found in, and what they can be recycled into. Some plastics can be recycled even if they don’t have a number. For example, Michigan State University takes all plastics (except poly-styrene foam), whether they are clearly labeled or not. You can check out their guidelines here.

Q: Why is it important to rinse my food containers before recycling?

A: Recycling clean, dry materials makes the whole process less yucky. Food residue can create foul odors and attract pests wherever material is stored. While all recyclables are eventually cleaned or melted down, starting the process with rinse clean, dry materials is preferred.

Q: I have a product that isn’t recyclable but I don’t want to throw it away. What can I do?

A: Be 100% sure it can’t be recycled. Items like light bulbs, batteries, paints and other household hazardous wastes can’t be put in your curbside bin. However, most communities host collection events where you can take these items. Check with your community contact to see if this is offered in your area.
If it is not an item like those listed above, can you reuse it? Can you compost it? Depending on what type of waste it is, there may be many options other than sending it to the landfill. The EPA has some great tips for reducing, reusing, recycling and composting. You can also check out Terracycle, which uses waste like wrappers to make new products like bags, hats, and garden tools.
It’s also important to carefully consider the products and packaging you buy. If you can’t recycle something, it’s likely you have to pay to throw it away.

Q: What happens to my recyclables when they are taken from my curb or the drop off center?

A: Your recyclables are taken to a materials recovery facility (MRF) where they are sorted by machine, by hand, baled, and sent to manufacturers that can then make them into “new” products. Take this virtual tour of a MRF by ReCommunity Recycling. 

Q: Why do I need to recycle my computer or TV?

A: Electronics and appliances like computers, TVs, refrigerators, and printers contain harmful materials such as lead, mercury, flame retardants and coolants. When improperly disposed of, these chemicals can leak out and enter the water table or the air, polluting resources we rely on every day. Some manufacturers will take back their own products for recycling, such as Dell Reconnect. In Michigan, manufacturers of electronic devices must provide some means for consumers to recycle those items. Check Greener Gadgets for information about recycling you electronics. Most communities also have recycling events that accept these items. Check with your local recycling contact for more information.

Q: Do I need to take labels off of jars and cans before I recycle them?

A: No, labels are usually cleaned or burned off in the recycling process, so there is no need to take them off yourself.

Q: Can I recycle plastic bags?  In my curbside recycling bin?

A: Not usually. Film plastics such as grocery bags and other film packaging can get caught in sorting machines and make the process more difficult. Check with your local grocer to see if they take back bags and other plastic film, often chain stores like Kroger have a program like this. Visit to learn more about the process. 

Q: What is single stream recycling?

A: Single stream recycling refers to a collection method whereby all recyclables (plastic, cardboard, paper, metal) can be put into your recycling bin together, without being separated first. These items are collected together in one compactor truck and taken to a MRF for separation and baling. Recyclables used to be collected in separate compartments in a recycling truck but this collection model increases the time trucks are at the curb and limits the number and amounts of materials they can collect. Single stream recycling means that a limitless type of recyclable can be collected at the curb.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!


Michigan Recycling Coalition
PO Box 10070

Lansing, MI 48901
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

2016ConfLOGO 4in 100pdiGovernor's Recycling Summit and MRC Conference
May 3-5, 2016. Plymouth

Presentations: (PDF Format)

Tuesday, May 3 Trainings:
Smart Recycling Communications on a Budget - Marissa Segundo, RRS; Melissa Radiwon, RRS, Anna Lynott, RRS
Sustainable Materials Management in Manufacturing 1 - Chadwick Learned, Republic Services
Sustainable Materials Management in Manufacturing 2 - Walker Modic, Bell's Brewery

Tuesday, May 3 Keynote: 
Moving Toward a Circular Economy Together - Nina Goodrich, Director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Executive Director of GreenBlue

Tuesday, May 3 Summit Presentations: 
What We Know Now - Michigan Recycling Index & MSW Characterization - Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Our Progress & Vision of the Future - Bryce Feighner, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Perspective: Governor's Recycling Council - Jim Frey, RRS

Tuesday, May 3 Panel: 
Panel - The Economics of Recycling 1 - Joe Pickard, Institute for Scrap Recycling: Tonia Olson, Michigan Waste & Recycling Association; JoAnn Perkins, Cascade Cart Solutions
Panel - The Economics of Recycling 2 - Michigan Waste & Recycling Association

Wednesday, May 4 Keynote: 
The Promise of Markets Development - Dylan de Thomas, Resource Recycling

Wednesday, May 4 Concurrent Sessions: 
Refresher on PAYT - Paul Gardner, WasteZero
How Recycling Success & Commitment to Community Work Together - Patricia Ireland, DTE Energy; John Ash, Goodwill Green Works
DEQ Policy & Legislative Update - Steve Sliver, Michigan Department of Environmental Qualilty; Sarah Howes, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
From San Fransisco to Detroit: Key Takeaways on Municipal Zero Waste Innovations - Scott Benson, Detroit City Council; Melanie Berkowitz, Zero Waste Detroit
Closed Loop Innovations in Business & Manufacturing - Katie Chapman, Duro-Last Roofing; Nathan Koster, Anterior Quest
MSW Characterization: What it's Worth 1 - Dan Schoonmaker, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
MSW Characterization: What it's Worth 2 - David Stead, Resource Recycling Systems
Going Digital: Beyond Handouts - John Watson, Recollect Systems, Inc; Tracy Purrenhage, Iris Waste Diversion Specialists
Innovation in Reuse and Recycling 1 - Jeremy Haines, Reclaim Detroit
Innovation in Reuse and Recycling 2 - Adrianna Jordan, Muskegon Deconstruction Feasibility Study
MRF Material Flow Study 1 - Brennan Madden, RRS; Emily Tipaldo, American Chemistry Council
MRF Material Flow Study 2 - Elisa Seltzer, Emmet County DPW
Working the Food Scrap Hierarchy - Larry Weber, Forgotten Harvest; Dana Kirk, Michigan State University
Safety First - David Biderman, Solid Waste Association of North America
Zero Waste to Landfill Strategies for West Michigan 1 - Bill Stough, Sustainable Research Group
Zero Waste to Landfill Strategies for West Michigan 2 - Dar Baas, Kent County DPW

Thursday, May 5 Keynote: 
Food Scraps: The Final Frontier - Sally Brown, University of Washington

Thursday, May 5 Concurrent Sessions: 
Learning from Food Scrap Collection Pilots - Lindsay Walker, Emmet County DPW
Learning from Food Scrap Collection Pilots - Rod Muir, Sierra Club Canada Foundation
Best Practices - The Art & Science of Recycling 1 - Matt Biolette, Republic Services
Best Practices - The Art & Science of Recycling 2 - Elisa Seltzer, Emmet County DPW
The Market Update - Steel - Dave Keeling, Steel Recycling Institute
The Market Update - Plastic - Patty Moore, Moore Recycling Associates
The Market Update - Paper - Rick Post, PADNOS; Doug Rahaim, Glass Recyclers
Recycling When the Chips are Down 1 - Patty Moore, Moore Recycling Associates - Moderator; Victor Bell, Environmental Packaging International; Paul England, Pratt Industries; John Bradburn, General Motors
Recycling When the Chips are Down 2 - Victor Bell, Environmental Packaging International

Thursday, May 5 Training: 
Carts Workshop: Cart Access = Recycling Tonnage - Karen Bandhauer, The Recycling Partnership; Cody Marshall, The Recycling Partnership


2015e-mailHead600x400Governor's Recycling Summit and MRC Conference
May 5-7, 2015. Kalamazoo. 

Presentations: (PDF Format)

Main Presentations: 
Governor's Recycling Summit:
Summit Overview Slides

MRC Conference: 
Repurposed Materials 1 - Damon Carson, Repurposed Materials
Repurposed Materials 2 - Damon Carson, Repurposed Materials

School Recycling Services SessionAnna Lynott, RRS
Tools for Planning a Dynamic Recycling Education Program - MacKenzie Maxwell, Ecology Center
The Detroit Flood of August 11, 2014 - Disaster Planning - Claire Galed, City of Huntington Woods; Bob Jackovich, SOCRRA; Mary Geskey, emergency preparedness consultant
PaintCare Paint Stewardship Program - Marie Clarke, American Coatings Association
How to Fund CartsPhil Bonello, National Cart Marketing
Funding & Managing CartsMatt Biolette, Chef Container
Collaboration is KeySusan Graff, RRS
Say What? Put your Communication to WorkElizabeth Schussler, The Recycling Partnership
Market UpdateDave Keeling, Steel Recycling Institute
Adding New Materials: 7 Steps to SuccessElisa Seltzer, Emmet County Recycling
Developing a Corporate Office Recycling ProgramCheryl Schmidt, Dart

Recycling on a Smaller Scale: Best Practices for a  Thriving ProgramElisa Seltzer, Emmet County Recycling
How to Develop Better Bids, Contracts for Collection, and ProcessingMichele Nestor, Nestor Resources, Inc. 


All Roads Lead to RECYCLE, MI
April 29-May 1, 2014. Ypsilanti. 

Presentations: (PDF Format)
Carts Part 1: Where's the Magic?Matt Biolette, Chef Container
Carts Part 2: Putting Carts at the CurbBrian Miller, Cascade Engineering
The Importance of Sustainable & Comprehensive Drop-Off CentersLinda Berch, Recycle Livingston
Sustainable Event Recycling Programs that WorkRoger Curtis, Michigan International Speedway
E-Waste Stakeholders DialogueSteve Noble, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Recycling Incentive Programs: A Community PerspectiveTara Presta, City of Rochester Hills
Plenary: Next Generation Organics ManagementThomas Bintz, We Generation Inc.
March Forth Into RecyclingMatt Biolette, Chef Container
March Forth Into RecyclingElisa Seltzer, Emmet County Recycling
Other Organics Part 1: Collection & HandlingJustin Swan, Organicycle
Other Organics Part 2: Processing Technologies & Reduction PoliciesDana Kirk, Michigan State University
Landfill Free TrainingSarah Archer, Iris Waste Diversion Specialists; Bill Gurn, Haworth; Marylin Glass-Hedges, WMU Green Manufacturing Initiative
Keynote; Beyond Garbage: A World Without Waste
Richard Gertman, For Sustainability Too

On the Road to Recycle
May 7-9, 2013. Bay City.

Presentations: (PDF format)

Chef Container: Municipal Recycling and Refuse Programs
Beth Coddington: What's Really in Your Waste Stream? 
Keep America Beautiful
McDunnough: Trends in Post Industrial Plastic Recycling
Kaitlin Phelps: Motivate, Facilitate, and Inspire Recycling
Sarah Archer and Mike Logan: The Business Case for Recycling
ReCommunity: Get the Most out of Your Single-Stream



Recycling by Design
May 8-10, 2012. Grand Rapids.










Nothing Wasted
May 10-12, 2011. East Lansing.






Recycling Renaissance
May 17-19, 2010. Detroit.






Your Gateway to Green
May 19-21, 2009. Mt. Pleasant.










Recycling: Where Business and Sustainability Meet
May 13-15, 2008. Traverse City.