Michigan is not new to the world of recycling and decreasing the environmental impact our generations are making on the Earth. The Department of Environmental Quality is focusing its energy on diverting waste from landfills, minimizing the use of virgin materials that must be harvested or mined, and creating jobs to replace the waste management department it will displace by this reduction.
Those are just part of the plan, and Michigan officials are proud to say they are doing their part to improve our environment. Each county has contacts listed on the Department website which allow residents to find local programs to handle their recycling needs. There is also an organization called the Michigan Recycling Coalition that coordinates cooperation between businesses and local government, as well as individual members of the community to reduce, recycle, and compost all possible products and byproducts.
Currently, Michigan leads the way in the recycling news. In Michigan, the deposit on drink containers in the form of plastic, paper, glass, airtight metal, or combination thereof is a full 10 cents. This is the highest rate in the country for deposits, however, so is its recycling rate. The redemption of the containers is at 97.2 percent, making the program a nationally noted success. Since 1976 when the Bottle Bill was enacted, the state has been intent upon reducing roadside litter, and cleaning up the environment. Their approach has certainly worked.
This same state, though, faces along with environmental challenges like the hot weather creating heavy pond scum on the lakes, a recent fuel spill into White Lake on June 3, 2009. The city of Whitehall will pay over $16,000 to clean up the spill. The hefty price tag will not discourage the people of Michigan, despite this disappointing blow to the overall environmental health of the state. Citizens here are dedicated to the environment and will continue the public and private efforts to keep their state one of the most eco-friendly states in our country.
Michigan notes that on the other side of the coin, the Energy Department is helping out by lending the Ford Motor Company, the Nissan Motor Company, and Tesla Motors portions of a $25 billion fund to increase the fuel efficiency of the vehicles being manufactured in the state of Michigan. These loans are expected to increase the functions of the factories to produce more fuel-efficient models as opposed to the gas guzzlers of yesterday. Officials hope the huge loan assistance will counteract much of the negative impact the fuel spill has made.
Leading the way to awareness of environmental awareness, even a night talk show host from Michigan is raising awareness about how we dispose of our everyday waste. In particular, the fluorescent bulbs we toss in the trash become quite a concern. The small amount of mercury needed to make the bulb work is then released into landfills, creating quite a dangerous hazard to our environment. The poisons contaminate fish and mammals alike, and are becoming an international concern. Our food supply could well be affected by contaminated sources of seafood and beef. Work is underway to find better ways to dispose of these bulbs, and reduce the risk to wildlife and nature.