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February 8, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Isabella Garramone – Education and Outreach Coordinator; [email protected]; 734-222-3827
Washtenaw County Board of Public Works aligns County Grants to partner with State of Michigan Circular Economy Initiative NextCycle Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI- The Washtenaw County Board of Public Works unanimously passed a resolution allocating up to $50,000 in sponsorships per year for five years to NextCycle Michigan teams locating and investing in Washtenaw County.
The resolution allocates funds from the Solid Waste Reduction Sponsorships (washtenaw.org/sponsorships) approved by the Board of Public Works in 2019 to provide matching funds for Washtenaw County organizations that reduce, divert, or educate about waste. The NextCycle Michigan partnership also aligns with the county’s Waste Knot Partnership Program that provides help to local organizations and businesses that would like to reduce their waste and increase their recycling.
“I am excited to see Washtenaw County take this step to support the local circular economy. These grants support reusing recycled materials locally to support our county municipality programs and provide economic benefits, climate change benefits, and have the opportunity to provide equity benefits,” said Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt.
The resolution recognizes: the state of Michigan landfills 6.8 million tons of material that could be recycled; capturing 2.7 million tons of that material would triple Michigan’s recycling rate to 45%; reusing that material in Michigan would add $9 billion to the state labor economy; and keeping that material out of Michigan landfills would offset 7 million MTCO2e of carbon per year (i.e., 3.5 times the community-wide emissions of Ann Arbor).
NextCycle Michigan - funded by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) - is a multi-track idea incubator that provides technical support and subject matter expert mentoring to move recycling, organics, and recycled-content manufacturing ideas toward implementation in Michigan. The program includes six core Innovation Challenge tracks related to Michigan’s recycled materials supply chain and end markets. NextCycle Michigan expands on the success of the Colorado NextCycle program that ran for two cycles from 2017 to 2020.
“This action by the board aligns an existing set of county grants with the EGLE NextCycle Michigan initiative” says Theo Eggermont, Washtenaw County Public Works Director. “We look forward to these funds building Michigan’s circular economy and supporting the other investments in the county including $7 million by Recycle Ann Arbor and the growing collaboration around the Washtenaw Regional Resource Management Authority (WRRMA).”
The Board of Public Works consists of seven members, including planners, engineers, policy specialists and members of the general public. The Water Resources Commissioner is also appointed as a member, and a member of the County Board of Commissioners (BOC) is appointed to be an ex-officio representative of the BOC.
Washtenaw County provides a wide array of public quality of life and safety-net services, including health, mental health, environmental, and economic development. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners seeks public involvement on a wide variety of issues. More information is available on the Washtenaw County website at www.washtenaw.org.
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