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How often do Michiganders recycle, and what do they recycle?

Posted at 6:06 AM, Jun 25, 2024

MADISON HEIGHTS (WXYZ) — For the third year in a row, Michigan set a record-high recycling rate.

In 2023, according to the EGLE, Michiganders recycled 82,000 tons more than in 2022, and EGLE says Michigan is now on track to achieve the state's goal of 30 percent recycling rate by 2029.

Two communities — Sterling Heights and Madison Heights — received grants. So, how often do you recycle, and what do you recycle?

My journey took me to Ferndale because I wanted to find a super recycler. Every Thursday, Melissa Bielsky of Ferndale loads up her recycling container and rolls it down her driveway. You could say she's a super recycler.

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Melissa Bielski, Super Recycler

"I have been known to take something out of the trash, and put it into a recycling bin, because as I said, I am a super recycler," Melissa said. "In my house I recycle cardboard, glass, plastic...when I go to different cities and different states, I kind of see how they recycle too."

She's also a teacher for Warren Consolidated Schools, and there, she helped implement the school recycling program.

"I've been with four different schools, elementary schools, and my current school has about 700 students and adults there," Melissa said. "We have three bins, you know, and we recycle every Wednesday. My students go around and collect all the recycling bins and dump them into the large bin and we bring it out to the curb for Warren to recycle."

My journey then took me over to Madison Heights, which was granted $403,000 to roll out a community-wide recycling/trash cart program that will serve it's 30,000 residents.

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Rob Dowhan, Madison Heights Recycler

"I've been (in Madison Heights) since 2002 and I've been recycling my grass and all that for a long time, so it's been 22 years" said Madison Heights recycler Rob Downhan. "I think it's wise and just really enjoy doing it, and I hope I am helping the whole planet by doing it."

"I do cans, the small bottles, I do the milk jugs, I do the orange juice jugs, everything that has a recycling symbol," Dowhan continued. "I think you should do it."

I asked Madison Heights resident Mohamed Romolino what recycling means to him.

"(I've been recycling) forever pretty much, ever since I was able to put stuff in a can, I guess it's just about trying to contribute to a more sustainable packaging and stuff, and just keeping stuff out of landfills and the ocean and all that."

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Mohamed Romolino, Madison Heights Recycler

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