Emmet County, Michigan, receives funding from The Recycling Partnership

The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, had agreed to provide seed money to purchase 7,000 residential recycling carts if Emmet County, Michigan, could raise funds to cover the balance of the cost. Thanks in part to a grant the county received from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, as well as to funding from 16 other sources, the county was able to meet this requirement, and cart distribution will begin the summer of 2016.

The grant will help Emmet County purchase new recycling carts for 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 communities will maintain their dual-stream recycling system with the conversion to carts, which will hold paper, boxes and bags, while existing totes will hold bottles, cartons, jugs and jars, according to a news release from The Recycling Partnership.

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Jeff Meyers, The Recycling Partnership 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. When some additional grant money opened up, we approached them with an offer of funding and a challenge to raise funds from local companies that use recycled materials.”

Emmet County joins seven previous communities that have received cart grants through the Recycling Partnership. While the organization says each engagement is unique, they all share the goal of improving access to convenient recycling and strong outreach for residents, resulting in more recovered materials for manufacturing feedstock.

The Recycling Partnership adds funding partners

The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, has announced that Keurig Green Mountain Inc., Waterbury, Vermont, and The Dow Chemical Co., headquartered in Midland, Michigan, have become funding sponsors.

“At Dow, we are collaborating with other industry leaders to harness science, industries and the incredibly powerful human element to transition to a sustainable planet and society,” says Karen S. Carter, North America commercial vice president, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “From supporting the engagement of best practices in existing local recycling programs to creating new technologies for broader material recovery, Dow is dedicated to finding solutions that increase recovery rates for plastic packaging.”

“At Keurig, we’re taking meaningful steps to transition to a recyclable K-Cup pod well before our 2020 goal of having 100 percent of our pods be recyclable,” says Monique Oxender, chief sustainability officer, Keurig. “We’re also working beyond our product packaging to address challenges related to all small-item recovery in the recycling infrastructure and to improve end market demand for reclaimed materials. These efforts take cross-industry collaboration. The transformative work of The Recycling Partnership is a perfect match for our ambitions.”

Delaware agency accuses WM of recycling violations

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DDNREC) has sent Waste Management Inc. (WM) a notice regarding its operations in the state as having violated state recycling regulations.

A notice posted online by the agency cites examples in 2015 when WM trucks operating in Rocky Run and Lewes, Delaware, were observed “commingling waste and recyclables,” the DDNREC says.

Per the notice, issued April 22, 2016, Houston-based WM had 20 days to provide recycling collection service in those communities where it was deemed lacking and to ensure that its methods to collect recyclables separately had been put in place in the communities where it was observed to have been commingled with solid waste.

The DDNREC issued an accompanying penalty amounting to more than $43,000 for the violations. WM has the right to appeal the findings and penalty.

Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio cancels Columbus-area recycling facility plans

Plans for a recycling sorting facility located next to Franklin County, Ohio’s landfill have been cancelled, a report from the Columbus Dispatch says.

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO), Grove City, has canceled a contract with Team Gemini, Orlando, Florida, which was supposed to build the facility, after the company failed to pay rent on its leased land next to the landfill, according to the Dispatch. The company was late on its rent payments the previous two years as well, the report indicates.

SWACO was to have owned and operated the landfill recovery facility, while Team Gemini was to own and operate its Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling (COR3).

All municipal solid waste (MSW) was to be delivered to the receiving facility. From there, the waste would have been directed to either COR3 or to the landfill. Plans also called for waste conversion technologies such as anaerobic digestion and plastics to oil as part of an industrial research park.

“The project is done. By virtue of our letter, we’ve terminated the contract. We’ve taken possession of the property,” Ty Marsh, SWACO executive director, told the Columbus Dispatch.

Team Gemini was supposed to pay SWACO about $350,000 as an annual rent payment two months ago, but it missed that deadline, the report says. SWACO gave the company a 60-day extension, which passed April 5.

SWACO had leased about 350 acres to the Florida-based company, which was supposed to build a $100 million facility where garbage trucks would dump trash for recyclables to be removed. Team Gemini then would pay SWACO for the materials, sell them on the open market and dump the rest of the trash at the landfill.

The project was supposed to be completed in June 2016, but work at the site never started.

SWACO signed the agreement with Team Gemini in 2013, when the authority was led by Ron Mills, who resigned that year. Now the agency is working with Battelle to figure out how to make money off its waste.

“The failure of the Team Gemini project in no way diminishes our interest in leveraging the waste that’s generated in Franklin County for greater economic opportunity,” Marsh said in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch.