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State Senator from Ann Arbor warns a recycling bill may not be what it seems

Sorting plastic waste at a single-stream recycling center
Eric Vance
Sorting plastic waste at a single-stream recycling center

An Ann Arbor state Senator is raising concerns about an environmental bill heading to the governor’s desk that, he says, may actually be anti-environment.

Ann Arbor state SenatorJeff Irwin says he had been all for a measure aimed at improvements to recycling and composting and offering funding to encourage more curbside recycling across counties.

But, at the last minute during the lame duck voting this week, he says an amendment was added to the package of bills that would allow the use of heating methods to break down plastics, which he called “burning plastic” or “burning hot garbage”.

"I’m not interested in attracting more plastic burning to our neighborhoods and our communities here in Michigan, so I made every effort to get that language stripped."

Irwin and other environmentalists, like the Sierra Club, are hoping the governor vetoes or takes no action on the bill this year and lets the new Democratic leadership re-work the recycling bill in the next session.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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