MUCC’s On The Ground Program is dedicating the month of July to clean-up events. There are many dump sites located across Michigan. Not only do these dump sites injure wildlife, but they also leach harmful chemicals, provide a breeding ground for pests, and increase the chance of flooding and fires. Properly disposing of your trash is easy to do and limits the amount of pollution in the area. Below are methods of waste disposal.
Recycling reduces the number of new materials needed to make products. Depending on your location, the types of materials that can be recycled and the recycling processes are different. There are two recycling processes: dual-stream processing and single-stream processing. Single stream processing doesn’t require the material types to be separated. Dual-stream processing requires paper, metal, glass, and plastic to be separated. It is important to clean off the recyclables. This reduces the amount of energy used during the recycling process and improves the quality of the end product.
In East Lansing, accepted items are:
- All clean paper items, with an exception of paper plates, wrapping paper, and tissue.
- 1 and 2 type plastics excluding Styrofoam and food container lids
- Clean aluminum products excluding aerosol cans
- Milk and juice cartons
- All clean glass, excluding mirrors, ceramics, and lightbulbs. In Michigan, you can return your bottles for 10 cents each, thanks to the Michigan Bottle Bill.
If you don’t have a curbside recycling pick-up, you can drop off recyclables at a designated station.
Composting is an option to manage food waste. An at home composting system can provide gardening soil while reducing household waste. Vermiculture is an indoor alternative that is helpful when an outdoor area is unavailable. Some cities like Ann Arbor will offer a city composting program, where curbside pickup is available.
Donation is an alternate option to disposal. Unwanted furniture, tv’s, clothes, or household appliances can be donated for free and written off on your taxes. This gives the item a second life while avoiding dump site additions.
Some waste can be trickier to dispose of. Tires, furniture, construction waste, batteries and more require specialized disposal methods. Instead of throwing the waste in dumpsites, the proper pathways can be found on the Michigan Government website. Utilizing dump sites may be a cheaper option, but it can damage the surrounding area. Citizen cooperation and avoiding the use of dumpsites will improve environmental health.
To reduce the impact of pollution on the environment one can use proper waste management methods and participate in volunteer clean-up events. Join MUCC’s OTG program as we clean up the St. Clair shoreline, the Manistee River and the Bay Mills area.