Michigan’s ‘Know It Before You Throw It’ Campaign Launched in Northern Michigan

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy was in Grand Traverse County Monday morning to try in boost the state’s recycling rate.

They were here to launch the “Know It Before You Throw It” campaign in northern Michigan.

It’s the first statewide effort to try and double the state’s recycling rate.

They also announced grants to help improve recycling locally.

This is the final stop for things like paper, plastic and aluminum on their recycling journey. But processing all of this takes time, something that’s about to get faster for Emmet County and American Waste thanks to $1.3 million in grants.

“The markets are getting more and more stringent with their materials, incoming volumes are increasing so there’s a need to process more tonnage per hour and this will help us do that with a cleaner end product,” said American Waste Co-President Eddie Ascione.

The announcement comes on the same day the state launched their Know It Before You Throw It campaign in northern Michigan.

The state is hoping to double its recycling rate from a near nationwide low of 15 percent to 30 percent by 2025.

“Our residents are engaged, they’re educated, but statewide it’s very important, especially with us being a resort community. Every community is different in their recycling, what they do take, what they don’t take,” sad Andi Shepherd, DPW Director for Emmet County.

A big part of the know it before you throw it campaign is education, making sure people know just what can be recycled and how to clean it out so things like milk jugs and tin cans don’t end up in the garbage.

“I think part of this campaign is saying check with your local systems, see what’s recyclable in your local system because every system is different. I also do think this campaign is exciting because recycling is on TV, it’s going to be on billboards, it’s going to give people a reminder that recycling is out there,” said Shepherd.

The state hopes that between grants and recycling campaigns, Michigan’s recycling rate eventually climbs to 45 percent.