February 23, 2016 - M Live
APR Member Highlight - Schupan Recycling
Water bottle recycling efforts in Flint hoping to transition to long-term, sustainable curbside program
Upon the dawn of the Flint water crisis, the fate of the city's residents was in the hands of willing volunteers. Individuals and corporations all over the country stepped up in the relief efforts, donating millions of bottles of water to citizens affected by lead water contamination.
Similarly, the fate of the environment depends, in part, on our willingness to recycle. What happens to those millions of empty bottles of water once they've served the people of Flint?
"The entire plastics industry is behind Flint," says Tom Emmerich, C.O.O. of Schupan and Sons Inc. and President of Schupan Recycling. "Every bottle of water being donated is recyclable. Our job is to capture many, if not 100 percent of them."
Out of a crisis can come opportunity, says Emmerich, and Schupan Recycling sees the situation in Flint as an opportunity to solve the unintended environmental consequences of plastic water bottle use.
"You hear tragedy or crisis happening in this country and we look for someone to blame," he says. "The reality is, the community, state and the nation really rallies behind them."
That's exactly what Schupan Recycling, local recyclers, volunteers and members of the Michigan State University community have done.
"We went to the city and state and asked what we can do to start putting together a plan to recycle these," he says. "Water bottles in Michigan don't have a deposit on them. We need to recycle them or they are all going to end up in a landfill."
Read full article - Check out recorded interview with Tom Emmerich at the bottom of this link.