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Leelanau County Makes Changes to Keep Up with Recycling Increase

Many people in Leelanau County are recycling, and the numbers keep climbing.

Now the county is implementing a plan to help keep up with those growing numbers.

The county has recycled more than 200 tons more so far this year than it did last year, and now has a plan to keep up with the increase.

“We’ve really seen an increase in recycling over the past few years, but especially during the summer months with the increase in our seasonal residents and tourists,” Leelanau County Planning Director, Trudy Galla said.

Now that recycling bins are filling up more quickly in Leelanau County, there’s a need to speed up the collection process.

“I have had a few times when I’ve come here and it’s pretty much full,” said Leelanau County summer resident, Scott Beall. “If you get to the point where there are periodic times when it’s full, then I think it’s time to expand.”

The county is getting $12,000 from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

Planning Director, Trudy Galla says they’ll use the money to get new bins to add to the rotation and speed things up.

“The company we work with, American Waste, has one truck that hauls two containers. This will allow them to haul four containers at a time with two trucks,” Galla said.

Scott Beall is happy to hear it.

He says full bins even discourage recycling.

“I just go back and say I’ll do it another time. Some people just put their things by it, though there are signs that say ‘please don’t leave your things here,’” Beall said.

The county will also pull one or two bins out of rotation at a time so they can repaint and sandblast them, keeping up with a need that is only growing.

“It helps conserve what we have by way of materials in a positive way rather than throwing it out of the boat or into the water,” Galla said.

Leelanau County will have a hazardous waste collection day this Saturday.

For more information, call the Planning Department at (231) 256-9812.