MRWA and Recycle Mecosta: Partners in Trash


MRWA staff and volunteers stuffing a trail



Numbers do not lie and these figures point to a highly successful recycling effort in Mecosta County:

  • Total recycling volume increased by 8 tons per month
  • Three semi – trailers stuffed with discarded tires
  • Two trailers filled with obsolete and broken electronic components
  • Hours of operation increased to over 100 per month

These results are obviously impressive and very meaningful when you consider the alternative: old tires and TVs scarring the landscape and poisoning the environment; and tons of reusable materials crammed into overcrowded landfills.

The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly is pleased to report the good news but our organization is only one member of an effective coalition. Once we had secured $92,000 in funding from the DEQ Community Pollution Prevention Grant Program, we needed a partner equal to the task.

In Recycle of Mecosta, we found an organization with expertise gained from 28 years of experience servicing the citizens of the county, combined with a passionate concern for the local environment.  In short, a perfect partner.

In addition to increasing the hours of operation of their permanent recycling facility from 7.5 to 25.5 hours per week, Recycle Mecosta also stepped up full service mobile recycling throughout the county every month. To support higher volume, they recruited dedicated volunteers who in total provided 80 hours of service each week.

Education and outreach typically play a major role in any successful campaign and together we went to great lengths to ensure that Mecosta County residents knew when where why and how to recycle:

  • 10,000 post cards mailed between January and March
  • Extensive coverage on social media
  • Flyers distributed to multiple locations throughout the county.

Beyond the obvious benefits to the local environment, it is always a good idea to achieve the goals defined in a state government grant. It may be the most important factor in establishing a reputation as an effective environmental organization. You have to keep your promises and by any measure, the MRWA exceeded the DEQ requirements in this project.

“The MRWA enjoyed partnering with Recycle Mecosta on this project and we appreciate their dedication. Together we have protected the watershed by removing tons of materials in a safe and responsible way.”  Julie Chamberlain, Executive Director, Muskegon River Watershed Assembly.

With questions, please contact Marty Holtgren, project manager, Muskegon River Watershed Assembly at . Or visit