MARQUETTE - Luce and Mackinac counties may soon have recycling programs, according to Mary Martin of the Superior Watershed Partnership.
Working in conjunction with the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission, Martin has been visiting towns such as Newberry and Curtis, as well as the Engadine schools, to assess public interest in recycling. Luce and Mackinac counties have no formal recycling programs.
"Right now we're assessing public interest in recycling and getting feedback from residents as to what they think is feasible and logical in terms of drop-off points, costs, etc," Martin said. "There are a couple of private recycling entities in the region that are interested in providing services if public support is adequate, and from what we're seeing, it certainly is."
When meeting with residents, local government and school officials, Martin gives an overview of the benefits of reducing, reusing, and recycling. She also talks about energy reduction associated with recycling.
"We then turn the floor over to the residents, who offer their suggestions for making recycling convenient and cost effective in their areas," she said.
Some of the information she presents includes that United States residents each generate 4.6 pounds of trash per day, up from 2.7 pounds per day in the 1960s.
"This throw-away mentality results in an enormous demand for energy and the depletion of our natural resources," she said. "We are so pleased to help establish a residential recycling program in the eastern Upper Peninsula."
Funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, the program will be offered within the next few of months to Luce and Mackinac counties; the local Michigan Townships Association chapter; and the St. Ignace, Les Cheneaux and Tahquamenon Area school districts.
For more information, contact Martin at 228-6095.