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Local News

Frank Fiala, chairman of the Barry County Solid Waste Oversight Committee, (SWOC) asked the Barry County Board of Commissioners Tuesday to adopt a resolution supporting a plan to develop a mission for the future of recycling in Barry County.

 

Fiala plans to ask all the county units of government to support a plan for a sustainable resource recovery program in the county by approving the resolution.

 

The plan is the result of the committee working with Iris Waste Division Specialists, as a part recycling coordinator since 2016, in three phases, staring with introductory meetings with local units, finding the status of resource recovery, continuing with a recycling assessment, finding low or no cost ways to provide the public with recycling information and maintaining the Michigan DEQ Online Recycling Directory.

 

The third and final phase of the contract with Iris Waste is underway and includes researching similar programs, potential collaborations and ways to fund resource recovery in the county.

 

A Recycling Forum with local government officials to talk about opportunities and gauge commitment to a plan for resource recovery in the future will be held. The outcomes of the forum will influence the recommendations to the SWOC and county commissioners.

 

The details page of making the plan, expected to take from 12 to 18 months, includes finding units that are willing and ready to take part as shown by approval of the resolution. They will identify options for resource recovery for them, including private, public and private-public options and development of an ideal option.

 

Participants are expected to identify a sustainable resource recovery program, with data to support its analysis, identify a strategy and advocate for that strategy. The BCSWC will supervise the project to insure progress toward the goals and help as needed.

 

The details page concludes by noting it is important to recognize that the project will be driven by the local units and there are no preconceived ideas about the leadership, management or type or organizations that may be identified as the “ideal” solution for a sustainable resource recovery program.

 

The program’s timeline anticipates resolutions from participating units will be back in April, a presentation of outcomes of the Recycling Forum and recommendations to the Board of Commissioners will be presented in May and the kick off the project and beginning the process of identifying and evaluating resource recovery program options in June/July.

 

Fiala also said in a lame duck session, the Michigan Legislature approved $69 million to the Renew Michigan Imitative. Of that, $15,000 will go to recycling. “We’re hoping to take advantage of that,” he said. The rest of the funding will go into brownfield remediation ($45 million) and landfill oversight ($9 million).

 

 

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