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Posted on: April 21, 2021

New Material Recovery Facility Opens in the City of Lansing

Mayor Andy Schor today announced that Emterra Environmental opened a new Material Recovery Facility (MRF), the first of its kind in mid-Michigan, in the City of Lansing. A MRF is the collection point where recyclable materials are taken to be sorted into commodity types before they are shipped to various markets to be made into new products. The City of Lansing and City of East Lansing have partnered with Emterra, a forward-thinking, female-owned company, to send their communities’ recyclables to the Lansing-based MRF. 

“The opening of the MRF is a great example of a public-private partnership that will benefit the City of Lansing and our entire region,” said City of Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. “Emterra chose to invest in in our city by building the MRF right here in Lansing. For the first time in many years, we will keep our recyclable materials local, saving money and enhancing our recycling efforts throughout the Greater Lansing Area.” 

Prior to the opening of the Lansing-based MRF, recyclable materials were hauled to the Detroit area. Now, both cities will save money on hauling costs, while also reducing fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the Emterra facility is expected to create approximately 20 jobs and has involved the renovation of an old industrial property on S. Pennsylvania Avenue that has been vacant for years.

“This is an extremely important project for our region that has been years in the making,” said East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens. “We are looking forward to the environmental and economic benefits that will be achieved as a result of this new facility, and we would like to thank Emterra Environmental and the City of Lansing for partnering with us to make this project a reality.”

The MRF features state-of-the-art sorting equipment, such as a robotic sorter, which helps ensure that recyclable materials are processed safely, cleaner and more efficiently. Lansing and East Lansing plan to send approximately 7,500 tons of recyclable materials to the Emterra MRF each year, and they intend for this number to increase as efforts to further promote recycling expand.

Throughout the duration of the project, Lansing and East Lansing have worked with the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), an association that specializes in providing expertise to the industry on food service packaging. They have assisted both cities with refining their recycling guidelines and creating new educational resources. FPI is interested in recovering material from the MRF and local communities to turn into sustainable products. 

“We are proud to partner with the cities of Lansing and East Lansing in opening opportunities for clean and empty paper and plastic cups, containers, boxes and paper bags—some of which will be recycled right here in Michigan,” said Natha Dempsey, President of FPI. 

The new arrangement brings noteworthy changes to the list of accepted materials. Bulky rigid plastics, such as tubs, creates and toys, are no longer accepted. However, paper cups will now be accepted. As a reminder, plastic bags, Styrofoam™, scrap metal, wrapping paper and plant plastics are not accepted. It is critical that residents understand the guidelines and recycle acceptable materials only.

The list of new City of Lansing guidelines can be located at lansingrecycles.com. Information on East Lansing recycling can be found at cityofeastlansing.com/recycle.

 

Press Release (PDF)
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