For Friday, Feb. 13, 2015
1 – Michiganders sent more waste to landfills last year.
That’s according to the Department of Environmental Quality’s 19th annual solid waste report for fiscal year 2014.
Residents increased waste sent to landfills by more than 2 million cubic yards, or 5.6 percent.
Officials say the jump can be seen as a sign of the state’s economic resurgence. It also underscores the importance of efforts to increase residential recycling.
Gov. Rick Snyder hopes to double Michigan’s residential recycling rate in the next two years.
Plans include developing new markets for recyclable metals, plastics and wood.
The DEQ also is working with cities and townships to increase access to recycling, measure progress, and provide technical assistance and education.
At this time, Michigan landfills have about 26 years left of remaining disposal capacity.
2 – The Great Lakes state faces obstacles when it comes to getting more of its energy from cleaner sources.
The recommendations include reducing energy waste by expanding financing options for energy upgrades.
We also could modernize our electric generation and delivery, such as increasing our 10 percent renewable standard for regulated utilities, due to expire this year.
Another recommendation is to electrify our transportation sector, including incentives to get more electric vehicles on the road.
3 – Iron Belle Trail is the newly picked name for Michigan’s planned, statewide hiking and bicycling trail.
The trail is due to stretch from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula.
The state Department of Natural Resources recently announced the name, after sifting through almost 9,000 suggestions.
Iron Belle Trail is a work in progress, but portions of the trail already exist, and are open for public recreation.
The Iron Belle Trail will stretch across Michigan and link numerous existing trails to provide hiking and bicycling routes. A map of the plans shows proposed bicycle trails running through Northeast Michigan.
The DNR is seeking private and public funding to secure and develop trail corridors for the cross-state trail. The agency says temporary connectors are in place along much of the trail and will be made permanent as resources become available.
— Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.