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Alpena clobbered recycling goal

ALPENA — More than 2 million pounds of plastics, paper and cardboard were collected by the Alpena Resource Recovery Facility, exceeding a countywide recycling goal set by government officials.

The facility had already collected 1.2 million pounds of recyclables from Nov. 1, 2018 to July 30, 2019, when state officials challenged residents to collect another 270,000 pounds of recyclables by the end of the year.

Residents ended up collecting a total of 2,309,292 pounds of recyclables by Dec. 31, according to facility Manager Stan Mischley, exceeding the goal by 39,000 pounds.

According to Mischley, that figure included:

∫ 875,974 pounds of cardboard,

∫ 750,003 pounds of paper,

∫ 217,500 pounds of plastic,

∫ 139,385 pounds of tin or steel,

∫ 31,200 pounds of aluminum,

∫ 24,259 pounds of batteries, and

∫ 971 pounds of latex paint.

Alpena Councilwoman Cindy Johnson said she is “very happy” the goal was surpassed.

“It means that people are recycling more, and the stuff is not ending up in the landfill, and that’s good for everybody, because we can’t continue to do that, so that’s a wonderful thing,” she said.

The challenge was issued in August when the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy launched its “Know It Before You Throw It” campaign. The campaign focuses on educating residents on cleaner recycling practices to reduce the amount of contaminated materials that go into recycling bins. The campaign features characters called the Recycling Racoons.

The Alpena Resource Recovery Facility has recycle bins positioned throughout the county and collects cardboard, paper, plastics, and small metals.

Materials that cannot be recycled include pizza or frozen food boxes, beverage cases, tissue or soiled paper, plastic bags, foam, plastic wrap or bubble wrap, blades, or sharps.

Johnson encourages people to continue recycling. Mischley said the Resource Recover Facility would like to have 2 million pounds of recyclables again in 2020.

For more information on the state’s recycling campaign, visit recyclingracoons.org.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.