Michigan Business Forum to Address Recycling Issues


Leaders in Michigan’s business and residential recycling industries will address several key issues and questions facing cities and communities across the state in a one-day symposium in November.  

Hosted by the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and the Michigan Recycling Coalition, “Recycling’s Role in a Sustainable Economy” — held Nov. 13 at the Hilton Garden in Southfield — will offer attendees the opportunity to ask questions and interact with panel members rather than “just listening to a sound byte from (a state department) or somebody else,” says Tim Westerdale, a board member.

“We believe this event is important to business leaders — and any organizations and individuals — interested in the government policies, operational details, and societal implications of recycling,” Westerdale says. “The topics will help us all better understand the why, what, and how of recycling and how it affects both our economy and the environment.”

A highlight of the event will include a discussion regarding the challenges of recycling in the city of Detroit, says Westerdale, noting that the forum will prompt those in attendance to consider the economical impact of recycling. The city of Detroit does not offer curbside pickup of recycled materials.

“One of the things you’ll hear about in this forum is the loss of revenue based on throwing stuff away,” he says. “If we could recover just a small percentage of what we throw away, it could really bring in some revenue.”

The forum and discussion will be followed by a tour of one of Michigan’s largest recycling facilities — the Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County Materials Recovery Facility in Southfield. Tour goers will learn how various components of domestic recyclables are sorted, stored, and sent to market — as well as understanding more about the labor component.

Tickets are $40, which includes refreshments, lunch, and a tour of the recycling facility. More information and event registration is available at smsbf.org.