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      Recycling could bring more money and jobs to Michigan

      The Upper Peninsula Recycling Coalition's 24th Annual Conference was Wednesday at Bay College West in Iron Mountain.

      The conference gives recyclers throughout the U.P. an opportunity to get together to talk about what's new and ways to improve programs, for both consumers and businesses, throughout Michigan.

      One important topic discussed is a policy to recover 50 percent of waste resources.

      Kerrin O'Brien, Executive Director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition, says this will not only benefit the environment immensely but the economy.

      "It's worth $435 million in value of material alone," explains O'Brien. "That's Michigan's economy benefitting from not paying to put that in the landfills, but in putting that back into our economy and putting people to work in doing that."

      O'Brien says that estimate is only for that 50 percent that would be recovered and doesn't include the jobs and products that would also be created by achieving that percentage of recycled waste.

      The conference also awarded Habitat for Humanity as the winning organization for Recycler of the Year.