The Recycling Partnership works to improve greater access to recycling infrastructure and wider adoption of related technologies. One way it does this: the public-private partnership, whose members include P&G and Waste Management, has supplied more than 165,000 US households with new, larger recycling carts.
Most recently, the organization said it would provide seed money for the purchase of 7,000 residential recycling carts if Emmet County could raise enough funds to cover the balance of the cost. The county started contacting local companies, received a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and lined up funding from 16 sources.
The Partnership is providing $82,000 to match the state grant funds and says cart distribution is slated for this summer.
“According to The Recycling Partnership, we’re the only one to fund our carts this way,” said Elisa Seltzer, director of the county’s Public Works Department. “We were going to just expand to a few our curbside communities first, but they said they’d give us the money if we can hand them out to everyone.”
The grant dollars will assist Emmet County with purchasing new recycling carts for the communities of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bear Creek Township, Little Traverse Township and Resort Township. Additionally, the county will receive assistance with a customized public education campaign, and with technical planning to support the cart deliveries to its 7,000 households. The participating communities will maintain their dual-stream recycling system with the conversion to carts. The carts will hold paper, boxes and bags, while existing totes will hold bottles, cartons, jugs and jars.
Jeff Meyers, The Recycling Partnership’s development director, says Emmet County originally applied for a 2015 cart grant to transition two of their five communities with curbside to carts. “Though they were not selected in the first round, they still had a great project,” he said, in a statement announcing the seed money. “When some additional grant money opened up, we approached them with an offer of funding and a challenge to fundraise from local companies that use recycled materials. This project is a great example of when the recycling supply chain comes together to make change, everyone wins.”
Emmet County joins seven previous communities that have received these cart grants, including Santa Fe, New Mexico and Richmond, Virginia.