This week I joined my House colleagues from Macomb in touring a remarkable business in our own backyard. There has been much talk about “green collar” jobs as one key to Michigan’s economic future, but at Great Lakes Recycling (GLR) in Roseville the future is now. GLR is the eventual destination for the bottles, cans, newspapers, and such that we put in the plastic bins at the ends of our driveways once a week. We saw how GLR separates all the materials out and packages them for sale on the secondary market as well as processing of scrap metal and office recycling which adds up to a lot of waste. Or rather, adds up to a lot of saves.
By recycling, we reduce the waste stream into our landfills giving them a longer life and increased capacity. Also, resources like trees, petroleum, or metals are saved by replacing them with post-consumer or recycled materials. What’s more, jobs are created. GLR employs some 180 people and just opened a new state-of-the-art facility in Huron Township. But as one of our hosts on the tour told us, it all boils down to the millions of small decisions by all of us to change our ways ever so slightly and recycle our waste instead of just throwing it away.
I’ve written before about my efforts to increase recycling in the state, especially in state owned and operated facilities and events. We’re still working towards this goal in Lansing, but I for one, have pledged to do my part and step up my efforts at home. Simple decisions add up to long-term benefits for our state, personally, economically, and environmentally.