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Single-stream recycling set to roll out beginning this week

Note: This article has been updated to reflect date changes of single-stream recycling and glass collection.

MARQUETTE — The Marquette City Commission received an update from the Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority regarding single-stream recycling at its meeting on Monday.

MCSWMA said residents will see single-stream recycling begin to roll out this month, which allows for cardboard, paper, metal and plastic containers to be streamlined into one collection. Before single stream, MCSWMA operated with dual-stream recycling, which required cardboard and paper materials to be separated from metals and plastic containers on an alternating week.

Single-stream recycling will require just one container for a weekly collection, depending on the contract of the hauler.

Single-stream curbside load collection is tentatively slated to begin Monday, while residential glass collection is set to begin the week of Dec. 7. This allows residents to put separated glass curbside for collection, or there may also be a dropoff program depending on the municipality.

“We understand in our communications with the haulers and the municipalities that some of the glass options, whether it be curbside or dropoff, are a work in progress,” MCSWMA Director of Operations Brad Austin said. “With COVID-19 and the number of staff we have on site, everything really is tentative. We hope everything goes as planned, but we continue to be in contact with the haulers on a weekly basis providing them updates, and in turn they’re able to service those municipalities and get them to the authority on their own that date.”

One question posed by Mayor Pro Tem Jenn Hill was what assurances MCSWMA can provide to ensure plastics are being recycled.

“I would say most importantly here, that we ensure that we are following the guidelines to ensure that acceptable items are being placed curbside,” Austin said. “That’s really the key and that’s what we invest time and effort into. In order for commodity markets to be viable, we need to be sending the particular things that they can reuse.”

Austin wants residents to be aware of the materials the authority accepts and the resources available for those who have questions or concerns.

“We’ve got two great resources for residents of the county,” he said. “Recycle906.com was launched about a month ago and we also have the Marquette County recycling guide, which was directly mailed a week or two ago. We’ve had about 11,000 hits on the website and a lot of return visitors, so traffic on that website is really good. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback and questions from residents. We asked the residents to follow the guidelines provided on Recycle906.com along with the recycling outreach guide that was recently mailed.

“A recycling symbol and a number does not necessarily mean that an item is recyclable in our program. I think that’s a (focal) point moving forward, is to try and stay away from Google searching what is or isn’t recyclable and really focus in on what the single-stream flyer talks about is acceptable and what’s identified on Recycle906.com. The two resources are the same. They were put together the same and that’s really the focus.”

In other business conducted at Monday’s meeting, commissioners approved a grant agreement with the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a budget adjustment for Fiscal Year 2020, annual evaluations for the city attorney and manager, and conducted a roll call vote approving a resolution opposing the reappointment of Victoria Enyart to the Michigan Tax Tribunal by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Each motion passed 7-0.

The CTCL grant aims to promote safe and reliable voting during COVID-19 and totals $15,899.25. The city will use the money for election signage and training materials, as well as costs for increased absentee balloting and costs to operate a satellite city clerk’s office on the campus of Northern Michigan University in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election.

The city’s resolution to oppose the reappointment of Enyart to the Michigan Tax Tribunal comes in conjunction with Marquette Charter Township Supervisor Lyn Durant’s letter to Whitmer opposing the decision. The city, along with other Marquette County municipalities, have all signed Durant’s letter in hopes of the governor withdrawing her appointment.

Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Chairman David Allen also made a presentation to the commission, and a closed session was held regarding the case of Verizon Wireless vs. City of Marquette.

For more information on the MCSWMA’s new single-stream recycling program, visit www.Recycle906.com or www.mcswma.com. Procedures and policies may differ by municipality.

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