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January 6, 2015

Michigan House passes renewable energy bill

The Michigan House of Representatives approved legislation in early December 2014 introduced by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) allowing the use of advanced technology to convert previously nonrecyclable materials into affordable, reliable energy.

Nesbitt says passage of House Bill 5205 will enable the use of advanced chemical processes to heat trash and other nonrecyclable material to generate heat and electricity. In addition to providing a new reliable source of energy, the measure reduces the amount of currently unrecyclable materials in municipal landfills.

“The technology available means we can reduce landfill waste and generate electricity in a responsible, environmentally friendly manner, and effectively and affordably keep the lights on in homes of Michigan’s hard-working families,” Nesbitt said following the 63-46 bipartisan vote in the House. “The potential to completely convert ‘nonrecyclable’ material into energy to power Michigan homes and businesses is one that cannot be ignored, especially as we look to compete in a national and international economy.”

Nesbitt, who chairs the House Energy and Technology Committee, said allowing for the development of this technology would encourage economic growth, provide for better management of resources and potentially reduce the use of carbon-based fuels.

“An August 2011 report from the Columbia University Earth Engineering Center stated that a significant portion of the plastic that we use in our everyday lives is dumped into our landfills, not reused or recycled. In fact, the report estimates that about 86 percent of the plastic we use is considered non-recyclable,” Nesbitt said. “This developing technology that has been utilized in Europe for some time, and with states like Maryland taking advantage of it over here, is a vital tool to an all-of-the-above energy approach that provides reliable, affordable energy, while reducing the amount we throw into landfills.”

The bill now goes to the Michigan Senate for consideration.

REW Staff

JANUARY 16, 2015

Recycling Today