Michigan Looks to Improve Its Recycling Record

When it comes to recycling, Michigan lags behind much of the nation, and state lawmakers say it’s time to change that. Yesterday, a state Senate task force proposed spending $50 million to establish a recycling program and ban beverage containers from landfills. Funding for the project would come from a $3-per-ton solid waste surcharge, which, lawmakers hope, would also have the effect of discouraging neighboring states — and particularly nearby Toronto — from shipping trash to Michigan. The legislation would improve the state’s current, unimpressive recycling rate of just 20 percent of solid waste, but it’s coming under fire from some environmentalists for failing to expand the state’s bottle bill to include containers for sports drinks, bottled water, tea, and juice mixtures.