Detroit launches $1M effort to increase participation in city recycling programs

Detroit launches $1M effort to increase participation in city recycling programs

By early 2020, the city hopes to add 16,000 single-family homes, 1,500 multifamily and commercial properties and 150 parks and bus stops to the city’s recycling infrastructure.

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Detroit’s Office of Sustainability released its Sustainable Action Agenda July 5. The agenda, which was assembled by a newly formed Interdepartment Working Group consisting of 29 city departments based on feedback from 6,800 Detroiters over the course of 12 months, lays out 43 initiatives aimed at improving the wellbeing of residents, including actions to improve the city’s waste and recycling infrastructure.

According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the agenda includes a $1 million push to enhance recycling efforts in the city made possible through city funding and grants.

Detroit launched its first recycling pilot in 2011. Currently, approximately 61,000 households in the city recycle through the services of Toronto-based GFL Environmental.  

By early 2020, the city says it hopes to add 16,000 single-family homes, 1,500 multifamily and commercial properties and 150 parks and bus stops to the city’s recycling infrastructure.

"Our goal is to increase the overall diversion rate for municipal solid waste," Joel Howrani Heeres, Detroit director of sustainability, says.

In a news release, Heeres says the program will constitute “the largest expansion of recycling in Detroit’s history.”

While 4.5 percent of the city’s solid waste is recycled, Heeres says the goal is to expand that to 15 percent within four years and to 30 percent in the next decade.

Detroiters interested in participating in the program can receive a free recycling cart by attending a workshop put on by Zero Waste Detroit or by paying for one through GFL. Community outreach efforts for the program will commence in the fall, and carts are expected to be deployed by spring of 2020.