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Houghton County recycling program seeing success

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette The recycling bin at the Houghton County Transfer Station is seen Monday. More than 12.5 tons have been diverted from the landfill between May and October, County Vice Chairman Tom Tikkanen said last week.

HOUGHTON — Houghton County’s single-stream recycling program at the county transfer station is already paying dividends.

From May through September, the county has diverted 12.5 tons from the landfill, Vice Chairman Tom Tikkanen said at last week’s Board of Commissioners meeting. Waste Management transports the material to its sorting facility in Marquette.

“This is a baby step, but it’s a step in the right direction, and it’s going to grow,” he said.

Access to the recycling bin is also being broadened. Recycling will now be available Monday through Friday during the transfer station’s regular hours. It will remain unavailable on Saturdays, due to it being the most high-traffic day of the week, Tikkanen said.

Tikkanen said the county will also add later hours two nights a week.

“We’ve had that request for years,” Tikkanen said.

The Copper Country Recycling Initiative (CCRI) also arranged a meeting at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton regarding state plans for resource recovery and funding opportunities to improve resource recovery locally. The event is intended for local government officials as well as area businesses. Presenters will be Brad Austin, director of operations for the Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority and Tracy Purrenhage, the Upper Peninsula recycling specialist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). The CCRI will also make a Zoom link online closer to the event.

Answering a long-running customer request, the transfer station will start accepting debit cards as soon as this week, Tikkanen said.

The county is also accepting applications for a manager for the transfer station. Those interested must submit a letter of interest and a resume by October 28. Applicant materials can be sent to: SWTS Manager Position, Houghton County Clerk’s Office, 401 E. Houghton Ave, Houghton, MI 49931.

Questions can be directed to County Administrator Elizabeth Bjorn at controller@houghtoncounty.net or by phone at 482-8307.

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