Budget Deal Boosts Great Lakes Restoration, Holidays Boost Trash

For Friday, Dec. 23, 2022

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1 – A congressional budget deal announced this week to fund the U.S. government through Sept. 30 will support efforts to restore the Great Lakes.

A 2019 photo from the Walnut Beach Aquatic and Riparian Invasive Species Demonstration project, part of an overall ecological restoration of 43 acres partially within the Ashtabula Area of Concern, Lake Erie. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

So says the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, which represents more than 175 groups. 

Coalition Director Laura Rubin says the budget boosts funding to core programs and will help communities most impacted by pollution and environmental harm. 

The coalition thanks the region’s congressional delegation for its support and says federal Great Lakes restoration investments have been producing results, but that serious threats remain.

The $1.7 trillion budget contains $368 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative—an increase of $20 million over current funding levels. 

The money goes to restore habitat, confront invasive species, reduce runoff pollution and clean up toxic pollution. 

The budget also supports programs to help communities update drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. 

2 – Reduce. Reuse. Rejoice.

That’s a message from Waste Management, which deals with trash and recyclables in Bay County and other areas. 

The company notes that 1 million tons of additional trash are generated per week during the holidays, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

And 17 percent of annual methane emissions are attributed to food waste decomposing in landfills. The average person in the U.S. wastes 219 pounds of food a year. 

Waste Management encourages people to reduce food waste by giving leftovers to family and friends, making the most of your freezer for long-term storage, and composting tea and coffee grounds, eggshells and produce scraps. 

To reduce other holiday waste, reuse cardboard boxes and break them down before recycling. For wrapping gifts, opt for recyclable paper and last year’s bags, ribbons and twine.

You also can donate old electronic devices or check with manufacturers about mail-back recycling programs. 

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen live). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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