Dickinson joins regional group for solid waste management

IRON MOUNTAIN — Dickinson County will sign on to a six-county agreement that calls upon a regional agency to prepare a plan regulating solid waste, recycling and organics disposal activities.

Under legislation signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in December 2022, each county is required to adopt a materials management plan to replace its solid waste plan. Regional collaboration is encouraged when developing landfills, recycling and composting facilities.

A resolution adopted by Dickinson County Board on Wednesday enlists the county in an interlocal agreement for a plan that will also include Delta, Alger, Marquette, Menominee and Schoolcraft counties. The Escanaba-based Central Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission, or CUPPAD, will serve as the counties’ designated planning agency.

The cost is $13,000 per county per year for the first three years, but grant funding dispersed by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy will help offset the expense.

“It has to happen,” Commissioner Barbara Kramer said of the updated plan required by the statute.

Curbside recycling and/or convenient drop-off sites are among the state’s waste management goals. The law sets a goal to reach a 30% recycling rate in Michigan by 2029 and 45% thereafter.

When Dickinson commissioners endorsed a regional planning concept in September, it was noted Marquette County had recently expanded its recycling facility.

Commissioner Joe Stevens said communication with the public must be an important part of whatever plan goes forward to boost recycling.


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