For May 19, 2017[audio https://dl.dropbox.com/s/lz7olvmj7yxo6ip/mr-great-lakes-wind-trash-waste-5-19-17.mp3]
1 – Voters in several townships and three counties in Michigan’s Thumb have rejected plans for wind projects and zoning changes.
Developers tell Midwest Energy News they are now regrouping, and are uncertain of whether they will pursue future projects in the three-county region of Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola. The region has the most concentrated amount of wind turbines in the state.
Two projects proposed by DTE Energy and NextEra Energy and approved by Huron County officials, were reversed through petition drives and referendum votes.
DTE’s completion of a Filion Wind Park was rejected in four townships. NextEra’s 150-megawatt Huron Wind Energy Center was rejected in two townships.
Local officials say the outcome is due to a saturation of the market in the Thumb, and growing mistrust with wind development companies stemming from ongoing disputes over tax payments.
2 – Memorial Day is the unofficial start of beach season in Michigan. And volunteers with the Adopt-a-Beach program will be out on the shorelines again this year.
The Alliance for the Great Lakes, which organizes the program, reports that more than 15,000 people participated in almost 1,400 cleanups last year. They recorded every piece of litter they picked up, which totaled more than 40,000 pounds.
The litter database is used identify problem areas and develop solutions to improve beach health.
The majority of trash picked up – 87 percent – was plastic. That included smoking-related litter and food-related litter, meaning it originated from human activity.
To find a cleanup near you, visit GreatLakesAdopt.org. A cleanup is planned for August at the Bay City state park beach in Bangor Township.
3 – A Great Lakes Bay Zero Waste Consortium will look at waste reduction strategies.
The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network is partnering with Duro-Last Inc. and others to launch the effort.
The goal is to bring together area manufacturers, businesses, and institutions interested in implementing waste reduction strategies.
Participants say taking a systematic look at waste generated by businesses can help identify opportunities to cut costs through waste reduction.
A free informational meeting for anyone interested in getting involved is planned for Wednesday, May 24, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Duro-Last headquarters on West Morley Drive in Saginaw.
– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9:30 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR. Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes