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Resource Recovery
2650 LaFranier Road
Traverse City, MI 49686
RecycleSmart Hotline,
Tel: 231.941.5555
Fax: 231.929.7226
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Mission Statement

The mission of the Grand Traverse County Resource Recovery Department (RecycleSmart) is to protect the public health and environment of our community by efficiently managing waste materials with a focus on resource conservation.

The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners envision: 
A COMMUNITY that preserves the beautiful and healthy environment making Grand Traverse County a desirable community in which to live where the safety of its community is of utmost concern and who focuses on the well-being of all its people.
A COUNTY GOVERNMENT that collaborates with other units of government on common issues for the benefit of the community and its individuals that encourages risk taking and innovation to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our services and to better serve our constituents where all our customers have ready and easy access to government services.

Governor Snyder Announces Statewide Recycling Initiative                               
Effort will help Michigan become leader in residential recycling

Monday, April 14, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced a statewide plan designed to increase residential recycling access statewide. He also announced appointments to a nine-member Michigan Recycling Council to guide the plan’s implementation.

In his November 2012 Special Message on Energy and the Environment, Snyder called on the Department of Environmental Quality to assemble a stakeholder group tasked with developing a plan. The governor presented his plan today during a tour of Clean Tech Inc., Michigan’s largest plastic bottle recycling plant, near Monroe.

“Michigan has a strong tradition of protecting and enhancing its environment,” Snyder said. “But when it comes to recycling, we must do better. Michigan trails other Great Lakes states and much of the nation in residential recycling. It’s a complex challenge but one that we can address. This plan puts us on the right path.”

Michigan’s recycling rate for residential household waste is about 15 percent. The national average is 35 percent. A recent study concluded more than $435 million in recyclable metal, glass, paper and plastics goes from Michigan households to Michigan landfills each year.

“States with healthy recycling programs have found that, in addition to reducing pressure on landfills and helping the environment, recycling creates jobs and opens markets for recovered materials,” Snyder said. “We’ve been throwing away money for decades. Addressing this issue is simply the right thing to do, and I am pleased to announce we are committed to making Michigan a recycling leader.”

The 15-point plan focuses on four key areas:

  • Benchmark and measure progress – including developing ways to better track Michigan’s recycling rate and document the progress of the state’s effort.
  • Public education and technical assistance for communities – other states report that an informed and supportive public is a key to increasing recycling, along with providing tools for local governments to develop local programs.
  • Provide convenient access – successful recycling programs feature convenient access at the local level.
  • Develop markets – stimulation of market opportunities for recycled products will be addressed with grants and other economic incentives.

The DEQ drafted the plan in cooperation with 45 key stakeholders including recyclers, landfill operators, manufacturers, waste haulers, bottlers, grocery store operators and others.

“This plan represents a real breakthrough for the myriad interested stakeholders around recycling,” said Michigan DEQ Director Dan Wyant. “What we celebrate today is their leadership, our partnership and the sustained commitment from everyone to keep ‘Pure Michigan’ pure in the years ahead.”

The effort is supported by a $1 million appropriation in the governor’s recommended fiscal year 2015 budget, along with $500,000 in DEQ pollution prevention grants that will be committed to support local recycling programs over the next two years.

“The Michigan Recycling Coalition is pleased with the governor's leadership on this issue,” said Kerrin O’Brien, executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition. “This initiative recognizes that we can and should do more to fully achieve the economic and environmental rewards that a comprehensive residential recycling program will bring to Michigan.”



Take It Back Award

Carter's Compost
2013 Take It Back “Recycler of the Year”

Grand Traverse County Resource Recovery (RecycleSmart) announced that the Resource Recovery Council unanimously selected Carter’s Compost as the 2013 Take It Back “Recycler of the Year”. Carter's Compost was recognized and a plaque presented at the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners, Resource Management  & Administration committee meeting held on Wednesday, February 12, 2014.

Each year the Resource Recovery Council selects a local business to receive the Take It Back Recycling Program “Recycler of the Year” Award for their commitment in assisting Grand Traverse County residents reduce, reuse, and recycle materials that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill.

Carter's Compost began in April 2012 by 9 year old Carter with help from his brother Jameson and parents Ty & Johanna Schmidt, as a 100% bike powered kitchen scrap pickup service that has evolved rapidly to include many related activities, all in the  interest of promoting their mission: "building community by making composting super easy for our TC neighbors".

Carter’s Compost accomplishments include:

  •  Assisted over 100 neighbors in reducing their waste by collecting kitchen scraps for  composting
  •  Pick up 40 buckets per week of compostable food scraps (average weight per bucket is 10 lbs.)
  •  Between April 2012 and November 2013, have diverted approximately 15 tons of food waste from area landfills
  •  Added several offices to the Compost Friendly Business program. Now 12 in all!
  •  “Graduated” 13 members to their own backyard pile as part of the Sustained Community Compost Project
  •  Currently working on 4th grade Science Fair Project: A Compost Survey
  •  Maintains an informative compost website at:

Introduced by the RecycleSmart staff in 2008, the “Take It Back” recycling program is a convenient product return infrastructure, where consumers can return unwanted products for reuse, recycling, or proper disposal. The program has grown to over 100 products listed with 63 participating local businesses. This information is available at the "Take It Back“ link at and/or by calling the RecycleSmart Hotline at 941.5555.