Michiganders have a bit of encouraging news ahead of Friday's Earth Day. According to a new analysis by the state, Michigan has seen a nearly 36 percent increase in recycling rates over the last three years!

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) director Liesl Clark says in a press release,

Michiganders are recycling now more than ever before...Equally important, EGLE and the Whitmer administration are introducing new opportunities to promote recycling, help support our climate change goals, and create new jobs in communities that have been historically underserved by our state.

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Michigan has now reached a recycling rate of 19.3 percent. The EGLE says this increase is owed in part to the fact that more Michiganders have access to recycling services than ever before.

Since 2019, the number of households in the state that have access to curbside recycling services and drop-off sites has nearly doubled, meaning close to three quarters of the state's population now has access to recycling in their own communities.

Other factors contributing to the increase in recycling rates include grants to underserved communities like Flint, Pontiac, Detroit, and Marquette. The EGLE also adds the state's recycling awareness campaigns like the Recycling Raccoon Squad and the award-winning "Know It Before You Throw It" push have helped Michiganders understand recycling's best practices.

These awareness campaigns highlight issues that are constantly putting pressures on Michigan's recycling industry such as: food ruining recyclables, plastic bags cannot be accepted with recycling loads, and non-recyclable "tanglers"-- items that get tangled around the rolling screens used to separate items during the recycling process.

The goal of the state of Michigan and the EGLE is to make Michigan a carbon-neutral state by 2050. Do you think we can achieve that?

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