Grants available to improve residential recycling

Grants available to improve residential recycling


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June 7, 2021
Jill A. Greenberg, EGLE spokesperson,, 517-897-4965

Grants available for Michigan communities to improve residential recycling

$575,000 in funding by EGLE, The Recycling Partnership
will build on recent successes combating contamination

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and The Recycling Partnership today announced $575,000 in grants for Michigan communities to dramatically improve residential recycling. The grants are available to introduce communitywide projects aimed at fighting recycling contamination and improve the quality of materials residents recycle at curbside or drop-off locations.

“After the impressive results from previous grant projects, we’re excited to be able to offer this opportunity to additional Michigan communities, in collaboration with The Recycling Partnership,” said Liz Browne, director of EGLE’s Materials Management Division.

In addition to continuing to build on the success of Michigan’s award-winning Know It Before You Throw It recycling education campaign, grantees with curbside recycling service will use The Recycling Partnership’s nationally acclaimed Feet on the Street cart-tagging program. Feet on the Street is designed to improve the quality of curbside recycling by providing residents personalized and real-time education and feedback on their curbside recycling practices. Grantees with drop off recycling services will use a modified version of the Feet on the Street program to combat recycling contamination and illegal dumping at recycling drop off sites, while also improving awareness and participation in the local recycling program.

“Capitalizing on national expertise through engaging The Recycling Partnership as part of EGLE’s grant project was a brilliant strategy,” said Mike Csapo, general manager at Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County (RRRASOC). “Our work is already yielding tangible, unexpected benefits beyond those anticipated when the project was conceived. The project will yield data, strategies and technology that will provide lasting value in addition to accomplishing the original goals and objectives.”

Selected drop-off recycling program grantees will benefit from inclusive signage and site improvements, security upgrades for features such as cameras, increased recycling participation and other opportunities to educate households on what is and is not recyclable.

All Michigan community recycling programs are eligible to submit an application for grants up to $4 per household for curbside programs and up to $3 per household for drop-off programs. Applications are due Aug. 20, 2021, and complete instructions can be found in the request for proposal at

The announcement today follows recent successes, including by the city of Novi – an RRRASOC member community – which successfully reduced drop-off recycling contamination by almost 45 percent during the city’s fall 2020 quality improvement program campaign. In addition, the city of Grand Rapids’ curbside recycling program reduced contamination by more than 40 percent in its residential recycling stream.

This spring, two additional communities – Auburn Hills and Canton – kicked off Feet on the Street with three more programs that start this summer. Auburn Hills and Canton report the program is an experience that draws them closer to the community and their residents.

“The Feet on the Street program has really helped us educate our residents,” said Amy Hamilton of the Downtown Development Authority for the City of Canton, which began targeted efforts to combat curbside contamination in April. “We knew we had a high participation rate, but we didn’t realize how much confusion there was about what can go into the recycling cart. Being able to give residents real-time feedback on what is accepted in your curbside program has been invaluable. Thanks to Feet on the Street, we’ve established an open dialogue with our residents, which has allowed us to target our education efforts and greatly reduce our contamination levels. This program has been a win-win for everyone.”

In addition to cart tagging, selected curbside grantees will benefit from the use of The Recycling Partnership’s new mobile app, while all grantees will implement effective recycling education materials, such as direct mail and targeted digital and social media campaigns.

Michigan’s recycling industry generates nearly 36,000 jobs statewide and an annual payroll of $2.6 billion. Achieving EGLE’s 45 percent recycling goal would support 138,000 new jobs in Michigan’s recycling industry and provide $9 billion in annual labor income and $33.8 billion in economic output, according to a recent study commissioned by EGLE.

“We are thrilled to see measurable results from more than 100 Michigan communities working to improve the quality of their residential recycling streams,” said Jill Martin, director of Community Programs at The Recycling Partnership. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with EGLE and help the Great Lakes State capture more quality recyclables, creating a more circular economy, a less wasteful planet and stronger, healthier Michigan communities.”

To learn more, visit

Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week: June 5-13

Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week: June 5-13


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June 3, 2021
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer,, 517-388-3135
Emily Finnell, Office of the Great Lakes,, 517-599-1330

Celebrate Michigan’s water resources during Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week June 5-13

Gov. Whitmer issues proclamation marking annual event

Michiganders are drawn to the water, whether it’s the Great Lakes, one of the state’s more than 11,000 inland lakes and ponds or 36,000 miles of rivers and streams. To raise awareness of Michigan’s water resources, Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week – June 5-13 – will celebrate our lakes and rivers around the themes of “Appreciate, Educate and Recreate.”

“From Saugatuck to Saginaw and from Kalamazoo to the Keweenaw, Michiganders treasure their water resources. Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week is a timely opportunity to raise awareness of how much we rely on and treasure this resource that impacts Michiganders in so many ways,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “Our MI Clean Water Plan will invest $500 million in water infrastructure from source to tap, and make improvements in wastewater systems to prevent sewage from getting into our lakes and rivers. We are also targeting $80 million to address climate change as we see increasing impacts on the Great Lakes and other water resources around the state, especially in coastal communities.”

Gov. Whitmer also signed a proclamation that highlights the impact lakes and rivers have on the lives of Michiganders.

Throughout Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), along with its partners the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and the MiSTEM Network at the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), will offer Michiganders an opportunity to show their appreciation of our state’s lakes and rivers, highlight programs that educate residents to become lifelong water stewards, and provide information about how to recreate responsibly on or near lakes and rivers.

“We all can appreciate the unique resource that we have here in Michigan. Swimming, fishing, boating or just lounging on the beach are treasured pastimes for all Michiganders,” EGLE Director Liesl Clark said. “With that comes the responsibility to be good stewards of our lakes and rivers and to educate future generations about the importance of caring for our water resources.”

Here are ways that you can participate in Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week:

  • Post photos on social media of your favorite lake, river or water experience and use the hashtag #MiGreatLakesWeek.
  • Try your hand at Great Lakes trivia, posted to the DNR’s Mi Nature Facebook page and at EGLE’s Twitter feed.
  • Watch and share themed videos throughout the week: Appreciate our water resources, educate residents about stewardship and recreate responsibly.
  • Fish for free June 12-13. On these two days, the DNR will waive the need for a fishing license, as well as off-road vehicle license, trail permit and the Recreation Passport requirement for state parks and boating access sites.
  • Take your blanket to the beach and read the 2020 State of the Great Lakes report.
  • Check out the Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week webpage at, where you’ll find links to local events, education resources, videos, MiCorps volunteer sign-up, invasive species identification and how to properly dispose of old medications.
  • Open the From Students to Stewards toolkit, which is full of place-based educational resources for teachers that will instill in youth a desire to learn about water resources and how to be protective of lakes and streams.
  • As you decide how to enjoy the outdoors, follow these tips to recreating responsibly on the water, in the water and while fishing, as well as resources to consult regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, June 7, SEMCOG will host a public Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week webinar from 1:30-3 p.m. as part of its One Water Summer Webinar Series. Monday’s webinar features presentations from SEMCOG, EGLE’s Office of the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA). Speakers will talk about Southeast Michigan’s drinking water, the state of the Great Lakes and the One Water campaign. You can register ahead of time or watch the presentation live Monday on SEMCOG’s Facebook page.

“Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Great Lakes and all of Michigan’s freshwater resources,” said Amy O’Leary, executive director of SEMCOG. “It is also an opportunity to celebrate many partners, such as the Great Lakes Water Authority, local watershed organizations, county water resource commissioners, and more for their tireless efforts to protect and improve water resources while also empowering residents to be good water stewards.”

“The Department of Natural Resources is proud to be a partner with EGLE on this celebration of Michigan’s abundant water resources,” said DNR Director Daniel Eichinger. “We are dedicated to protecting and managing the lakes and streams of Michigan so everyone has safe recreational opportunities to enjoy the greatest freshwater resource in the world.”

11 grants awarded to restore, protect water quality

11 grants awarded to restore, protect water quality


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June 2, 2021
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer,, 517-388-3135
Robert Sweet, Nonpoint Source Grants Coordinator,, 517-512-9765

EGLE awards 11 grants to restore, protect water quality

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) today announced 11 grants totaling over $4.7 million for watershed management projects that will benefit wetlands, lakes and streams.

Each grant will reduce sediment, nutrients and other contaminants to help restore impaired water bodies and protect high-quality water bodies.

Organizations and projects selected to receive implementation funding:

  • Ottawa Conservation District: $929,061 to use environmental and social monitoring to target enactment of agricultural best management practices and septic system repairs and replacements in the Sand and Crockery Creek Watersheds.
  • West Michigan Environmental Action Council: $781,123 to expand the use of green storm water infrastructure in critical areas of the Lower Grand River Watershed. The project will use outreach and workshops for the business community, community organizations and residents to increase storm water best management practices on private property.
  • Huron Conservation District: $767,004 for an incentive program targeting agricultural producers that includes structural, vegetative and managerial best management practices to reduce sediment, nutrient and pathogen loads to the Pigeon River and Saginaw Bay.
  • Village of Beulah: $519,949 to install rain gardens, bioswales, infiltration structures and inlet filters to reduce urban pollutant loads and stormwater that are having an impact on Cold Creek and Crystal Lake. The project will reduce E. coli and nutrient‑rich sediment while preserving the cold-water fishery.
  • Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy: $455,493 for permanent conservation easements to protect 269 acres of natural uplands and wetlands and 10,000 feet of creek frontage within the Paw Paw River Watershed, ensuring that the land will not be developed.
  • Delta Service Through Detroit Foundation, Inc.: $308,167 to increase urban green infrastructure in the Rouge River watershed using faith/community-based properties for large scale community outreach to reduce urban storm water runoff.
  • Marquette Charter Township: $293,356 to reduce nonpoint source pollutants, improve stream conditions and restore hydrology by replacing four dramatically undersized culverts with appropriately sized bottomless arch culverts in an urban cold-water stream.
  • Outdoor Discovery Center (ODC Network): $257,684 to continue restoration efforts on Peters Creek, a major tributary of the Macatawa River in Ottawa County. The project will use natural channel techniques to restore 1,700 feet of unstable stream channel.
  • Clinton River Watershed Council: $160,590 to retrofit a parking lot within the city of Center Line’s Downtown Development Area using low impact development techniques. Four bioretention cells will be installed to mitigate stormwater runoff in the highly urbanized Bear Creek subwatershed.
  • Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Petoskey: $153,938 to install 1,000 feet of shoreline improvements, promote sustainable riparian practices with targeted outreach and work to strengthen local environmental ordinances.
  • Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, Inc.: $94,866 to repair a failed road stream crossing on Deer Creek, a cold-water tributary of the Yellow Dog River in Marquette County. The project will restore the hydrology and sediment flow of Deer Creek and maintain the cold-water recharge of the Yellow Dog River.

The grants are funded under the federal Clean Water Act – Section 319 and the Clean Michigan Initiative – Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grants Program. Grants are offered via an annual request for proposals with the next opportunity to apply in mid-July at EGLE’s Nonpoint Source Program helps local stakeholders reduce pollution and excess runoff by supporting efforts to develop and launch watershed management plans.

Michiganders should avoid foam on lakes and rivers

Michiganders should avoid foam on lakes and rivers

MDHHS banner with logo no names

Press Release


CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112,

MDHHS recommends Michiganders avoid foam on lakes and rivers

LANSING, Mich. – As the summer months approach, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is issuing its annual recommendation that Michiganders should avoid contact with foam they may see on Michigan waterbodies such as lakes, rivers and streams.

The foam may have unknown chemicals or bacteria in them, so it is recommended to avoid contact. Foam can form on any waterbody, but foam on some waterbodies may have high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS-containing foam tends to be bright white in color, is often lightweight and may pile up like shaving cream on shorelines or blow onto beaches.

Naturally occurring foam without PFAS tends to pile up in bays, eddies or at river barriers such as dams. Naturally occurring foam is typically off-white and/or brown in color and often has an earthy or fishy scent.

If contact with foam is made, care should be taken to rinse or wash it off as soon as possible, particularly if PFAS contamination is suspected in the waterbody. The longer that foam remains on the skin, the greater the chance of accidentally swallowing the foam or the foam residue left behind.

“Although current science shows that the risk of PFAS getting into your system from contact with skin is low, you can minimize exposure to PFAS by rinsing or showering after you are done with your recreational activities,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “In general, washing hands and rinsing off after recreating will help to protect people from chemicals and bacteria that may be in waterbodies.”

PFAS are emerging contaminants, and the state is working to identify all waterbodies that have been affected. Health advisories have been issued for specific waterbodies where PFAS-containing foam has been found in the past. These specific advisories can be found in the “PFAS Foam on Lakes and Streams” section of, under “Testing.” MDHHS continues to evaluate surface water and foam data as it is available and will issue future advisories as needed.

MDHHS’ recommendation to avoid foam on waterbodies is for people of all ages, including young children. An MDHHS evaluation suggests young children could have PFAS exposure that may increase their risk of negative health effects if they have repeated contact with foam containing high amounts of PFAS for a few hours a day throughout the recreational season. Contact with surface water, including swimming or other recreational activities in waterbodies containing PFAS is not a health concern. PFAS-containing foams typically have a much greater concentration of chemicals than what is found in the water itself.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also recommends that people do not allow their animals – especially dogs – to come into contact with or swallow the foam. Dogs and other animals are at risk of swallowing foam that has accumulated in their fur when grooming themselves. All animals should be thoroughly rinsed off and bathed with fresh water after coming into contact with PFAS-containing foam. Pet owners with questions related to their animals and foam ingestion should contact their veterinarian.

More information on PFAS-containing foam can be found under the “PFAS Foam” section at If you have questions about exposures to PFAS and/or foam, call the MDHHS Environmental Health hotline at 800-648-6942.

11 grants awarded to restore, protect water quality

EGLE awards $492,145 in grants

Funded programs will save money and reduce an organization’s carbon footprint.

EGLE Main GovD banner
May 26, 2021
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer,, 517-388-3135

EGLE awards $492,145 in grants for community energy efficiency and solar projects

Twenty-six Community Energy Management (CEM) program grants totaling $492,145 announced today by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) will finance energy efficiency upgrades and other energy-related projects.

“Reducing energy waste saves money, saves energy, makes us healthier and improves our environment all at once,” EGLE Director Liesl Clark said. “Over half of EGLE’s budget goes out the door to invest in local communities. Climate solutions are local solutions, and these Community Energy Management projects are building stones as Michigan lays the groundwork to reaching its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.”

The CEM program grants will help local governments, public schools and other community organizations fund energy use assessments and comparative usage studies, perform lighting and climate control efficiency upgrades, add efficient building insulation, improve heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, participate in renewable energy projects or update municipal plans and ordinances. These important projects will save money and reduce an organization’s carbon footprint.

The grant recipients, award amounts and project purpose:

  • Alpena Public Schools, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Bellevue Community Schools, $15,000, energy audit and energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Big Rapids Housing Commission, $14,000, energy audit and energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Caledonia Community Schools, $15,000, upgrade building energy management system.
  • Chassell Township, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • City of East Jordan, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • City of Grand Blanc, $15,000, energy audit and energy efficiency upgrade.
  • City of Harrison, $15,000, renewable energy project.
  • City of Huntington Woods, $12,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • City of Kentwood, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • City of Lansing, $9,900, under 60-kilowatt solar array installation.
  • City of Mt. Morris, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • City of Petoskey, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Detroit 2030 District, $15,000, support the city’s municipal benchmarking efforts.
  • East Jordan Public Schools, $15,000, 20-kilowatt solar array installation.
  • Ecoworks, $100,000, energy audits and energy efficiency upgrades for cold storage systems for organizations providing food and meal distribution services in Detroit.
  • Fiddler’s Green Foundation, Bad Axe and Corunna, $13,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Lewis Cass Intermediate School District, Cassopolis, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Education Center Academy, Detroit, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Overisel Township, $1,245, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Royal Oak Public Library, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corp., $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • University of Michigan, $60,000, Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office matching grant for rural community solar barriers project.
  • Village of Ahmeek, $12,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Village of Muir, $15,000, energy efficiency upgrades.
Catalyst Communities logo

EGLE’s Community Energy Management program is part of the Catalyst Communities Initiative run by the Office of Climate and Energy and EGLE’s Energy Services. Catalyst Communities offers a series of webinars, workshops and cohort-style academies on a range of topics as part of a multi-tiered approach to provide local decision-makers across the state with the knowledge, tools and resources to take steps toward a just transition to decarbonization. Communities interested in learning more can visit the Catalyst Communities webpage and sign up to receive program updates.

Catalyst Communities will be the topic of a number of sessions at the Michigan Sustainability Conference June 2-4, including public-private community partnerships to advance decarbonization solutions, how community leaders can promote resilient coastal management and improve water infrastructure and energy management and low-income community solar. Conference attendees will learn from, collaborate with and drive transformation in social and environmental sustainability.

EGLE also offers grants for clean energy roadmapsenergy waste reduction for small businesseselectric vehicle charger installation and matching funding for businesses that have been awarded a federal clean energy technology development grant.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

EGLE Main GovD banner
Editor’s note: This announcement was issued earlier by the Department of Natural Resources.

May 19, 2021
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer,, 517-388-3135

Do your part during National Invasive Species Awareness Week

The North American Invasive Species Management Association has declared May 15-22 as National Invasive Species Awareness Week, an international event to raise awareness about the threat these species pose and what can be done to prevent their spread.

NAISAW logoAccording to NAISMA, invasive species – those that are not native and can cause harm to the environment, economy or human health – cost the U.S. $120 billion annually.

“Invasive species are a continent-wide problem that starts at home,” said NAISMA Director Belle Bergner. “Find a local event to learn how our invasive species managers and nonprofit organization leaders work hard making sure our lands and waters are friendly to native species of North America.”

Be a CISMA champion

Michigan’s 22 cooperative invasive species management areas assist and support communities across the state. Find your local CISMA at and:

  • Volunteer to host or assist in an aquatic invasive species landing blitz at a nearby boat launch.
  • Arrange an invasive species presentation or work bee for a club or organization you belong to.
  • Learn about and help promote local CISMA programs.
  • Find out how your business can reduce the spread of invasive species.

Become a volunteer steward

If spring has you eager to get outdoors, lend a hand removing invasive plants at state parks. Volunteer stewardship workdays are scheduled for several state parks in southern Michigan in May. Check  the DNR volunteer calendar for individual event details.

Advance registration is required, and participation may be limited due to social distancing requirements.

Although these are outdoor programs with room to spread out, everyone is encouraged to wear face coverings as an added precaution.

Adopt eco-friendly habits

No matter what type of outdoor recreation you enjoy, you and your friends and family can take simple steps against invasive species:

  • Hikers: Keep a scrub brush in your vehicle to clean off boots and gear before and after you hit the trail.
  • Bikers and motorized trail users: Wash off mud and debris from bikes, ATVs and trailers between rides.
  • Boaters: Remove drain plugs, drain all water from tanks and wells, and remove all weeds and debris from your boat and trailer before getting on the road.
  • Campers: Choose certified, heat-treated firewood when available or buy firewood at or near your destination. Don’t take leftover firewood to a new location.

“Everyone can do something to prevent invasive species from taking over agricultural and natural environments, and we encourage organizations and individuals to take leadership teaching their community about how to solve invasive species issues locally,” said Bergner.

Explore more tips and resources at