COVID-19

Still got bottles? Michigan’s recyclables backlog may be close to an end

Just three months after the governor's moratorium on bottle and can recycling ended, the backlog is winding down ahead of schedule.

COVID-19 threw Michigan’s recycling system into turmoil. But that turmoil may be coming to an end several months earlier than projections suggested.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered bottle and can returns to close down amid the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Redemption resumed June 15 under strict limits and industry leaders projected it would take the state six months to work through the estimated 800 million returnables Michiganders had stockpiled during the shutdown.

Get Encore, Kalamazoo's lifestyle and culture magazine, sent to your home for free.

Click here to sign up.

Nick Kronsbein is vice president of UCBR, which helps coordinate bottle and can returns across the state. He said the numbers look good just three months in.

“We have gotten through the vast majority of the backlog,” he told Bridge Michigan.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t still lines at recycling areas of grocery stores and other retailers. But Kronsbein said most Michigan recyclers should notice things return to normal sometime this fall.

You can read the full story here.