This fall, the Michigan Senate introduced legislation that would establish a funding mechanism for recycling. For a group of national and local businesses, organizations and communities — the Pro-Recycling Michigan Business Alliance — Senate, House and gubernatorial approval of this funding legislation couldn’t happen soon enough. Now, during the remaining days of the lame-duck session, is the time to move this forward.
More: You may be recycling the wrong way and it’s costing everybody
Michigan’s recycling rate is one of the lowest in the nation at 15% — less than half the national recycling rate. Gov. Rick Snyder established a goal of tripling the state’s recycling rate, and funding recycling improvements is critical to achieving that goal. Speaking as co-chair of the Governor’s Recycling Council, adopting the funding solution being proposed is the most important step Michigan can take to bring Michigan from the bottom of the pack just to the top half! We need this legislation approved now.
The legislation would establish a per-ton surcharge on waste disposed at landfills, providing $24 million per year for solid waste management and recycling programs. This approach, used by more than 30 states to fund recycling efforts, allows for a modest landfill user fee to finance significant improvements in recycling.
Furthermore, 25 percent of the revenue will come from jurisdictions outside of the state that use Michigan’s landfills. The funding will help make the hundreds of millions of dollars already being spent on waste and recycling in Michigan go further — making real positive recycling impact possible. The funding will enable communities to access the tools necessary to reach the goal of tripling Michigan’s recycling rate and will help build our in-state businesses and industry that can collect, process and use the recycled materials as feedstocks for new products — contributing to the overall economic as well as environmental well-being of our State.
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In a letter to members of the Michigan Legislature in early October, The Pro-Recycling Michigan Business Alliance joined together to express their support for funding recycling improvements through the proposed surcharge on waste disposal.
We urge the state Legislature to support the proposed recycling funding measure.
Jim Frey on behalf of The Pro-Recycling Michigan Business Alliance
CEO, Resource Recycling Systems
Snyder can take high road
Perhaps never before in Michigan has the distance separating the high road and low road been greater as Gov. Rick Snyder deals with the ridiculous bills being served to him by the lame-duck Legislature in Lansing.
With his national reputation greatly tarnished by the Flint water crisis, his legacy is probably doomed to be defined by that. Unless, however, he chooses the high road and shows genuine leadership with broad strokes of his veto pen.
More: Will Snyder enable lame-duck Legislature’s 11th-hour smash-and grab?
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Our state has received criticism on a national level because of these bills, which are nothing more than acts of political partisanship that undermine the will of the people whom these legislators are supposed to serve, and they are a threat to our democracy. It is simply not consistent with Gov. Snyder’s stature to support this kind of legislation.
Now is the perfect time to show Michigan, and the nation, his true character, and to reassure us all that Michigan leaders can how good judgment and have a positive influence on our national leaders as they too make important decisions for protecting our democracy.
Shutdown threat shameful
During the 2016 campaign, one of the president’s campaign promises was to build a border wall which Mexico would pay for. We have seen the fallacy of this pledge as our neighbor to the south has steadfastly refused to subsidize this project.
Now, in manner similar to a child having a temper tantrum, he has proudly declared he would initiate a government shutdown if he does not get his border financing. Caught in the middle are government employees who would experience payless paydays.
His attempt to hold a large segment of the population hostage is another shameful chapter in his presidency.
Ambassador pick irresponsible
I wholeheartedly agree with your negativity toward Trump’s new United Nations ambassador. (Making your world less safe for democracy, Free Press, Dec. 10.) This shows a complete lack of respect in more than one area. It shows a lack of respect for our United Nations allies by sending someone clearly inexperienced for the job. Not only that, it shows disrespect to the American public by deciding to represent us with a woman quoted saying D-Day was an example of the strong German-American relationship.
This is an absolutely disgusting show of spoils system, where unqualified people are supported by those who are in power in return for political clout. This isn’t the first time friends of Trump have been unfairly placed in important positions, such as our current Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, but at least she has background in government as opposed to just working in journalism.
Pamela J. Smith
Trump is leading us to ruin
We currently have a $21 trillion debt in this country, going up more each day. Our current president seems to think money grows on trees. Earlier in his life, his dad gave him money, he spent it. His dad gave him more money, he spent it. This story repeated often.
Now he wants “we the people” to keep giving him more money so he can spend it and ask for more. Think, people (especially our politicians)! This country is $21 trillion in debt. Is our country really doing all that great with all that debt? Our president sure likes to spend “our” money.
It’s been reported that he said he’s not worried about the massive U.S. debt crisis because by the time it causes problems, he’ll be out of office. Many keep harping about the great job he’s doing spending “our” money. He loves the pat on the back. It’s always easier to pass the problem off to someone else and have them deal with it and also get the blame.
Advocate for headlight recall
Just read your article in Thursday’s Detroit Free Press by Nathan Bomey regarding headlight deterioration. The article highlighted the extreme reduction in illumination caused by the breakdown of the plastic used in modern headlights. The article stressed the importance of replacing these defective parts. It also stressed the expense of replacing these parts.
Here’s my point: Why isn’t the Free Press championing a campaign to have the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall all these vehicles and force the manufacturers to replace these parts?
My reasoning is as follows. The Free Press should owe no allegiance to the automobile manufacturers. As the article pointed out, this is a definite safety issue. It was the manufacturers’ choice to use a less-than-optimal material for their headlight covers when a better material (glass) was available. They made this decision based on cost and aesthetics, not on performance. Their testing should have shown that the performance of these parts would deteriorate well within the usable lifetime of the vehicle. This sounds to me like a textbook case of negligence.
Instead of urging people to undertake extremely expensive repairs, I feel the Free Press should be defending the motoring public and agitating for a redress of this situation.
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