THE WHEELS OF government turn slowly. But they generally do turn.
Case in point: Recycling in Marquette. Several months back, we learned that glass had not been recycled here in years even though most residents thought it had been. It was just being dumped.
Critics cried out in protest. City leaders listened. Waste management officials presented options to the 22 municipalities in the county
So now, several months later, it looks like a major overhaul of recycling is in the works. If funding can be found–$5-6 million, to be exact–we will switch to single stream recycling (cardboard, plastic, and metal all together) instead of double stream.
And glass would also be picked up, but separately.
“We’ve still got a few more hurdles, but we’re excited,” says Brad Austin, the director of the Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority.
He’s hopeful that modifications at the recycling plant can begin this year, and actual pickup can start next year. In 2020. Again, slower than we would like, but Austin is confident that, with a grant, or an investment, or even a small millage, it will happen.
Now, about recycling glass, which started the whole controversy. We’d heard there’s just not much of a market for it these days. But there’s another problem and that’s safety for the recycling workers. When glass is collected, it’s compacted and it breaks. So workers are dealing with shards of glass, hour after hour. It can be dangerous
Therefore, it has to be collected and recycled separately. Different equipment, extra cost.
Glass recycling would be part of the major overhaul that Austin envisions. He believes the county is committed to it, and he says even municipalities outside Marquette County would likely take part.
Now there’s just that teensy-weensy matter of finding funding for it.
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