WRRMA’s Recycling Quality Improvement Program

This summer, the City of Saline is taking part in the Recycling Quality Improvement Program as a community member of WRRMA, the Washtenaw Regional Resource Management Authority.

This program aims to reduce recycling contamination, or items that can’t be recycled, in WRRMA communities. In your recycling, contaminants can have unintended consequences and cause many issues, such as how plastic bags tangle up the recycling processing machinery. Cleaner recycling helps ensure the materials you work hard to recycle are ultimately able to be recycled. The Recycling Quality Improvement Program will provide personalized recycling feedback and help you make accurate and informed recycling choices.

This summer, WRRMA’s “recycling detectives” will quickly glance at each single-family home’s cart or bin on four curbside recycling days within WRRMA’s communities. If contamination is found during one of these quick checks, the recycling detective will leave behind a personalized feedback tag. On later checks, if another contamination tag is left, the recycling will not be picked up until the contaminant noted on the tag is removed. WRRMA has been working alongside our recycling hauler and material recovery facility to coordinate this program. Data will be collected both before and after the tagging process to see how many contaminants we were able to remove from our recycling.

This is part of a statewide effort throughout Michigan to increase our recycling rate, decrease recycling costs, reduce worker safety hazards, and attract manufacturers using recycled products to see Michigan as a great place to do business. This program is funded by a grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and The Recycling Partnership (TRP). The Recycling Partnership has coordinated this program in over 80 locations across the United States and has seen contamination rates reduced by up to 40% as a direct result.

Program Timeline

· June 11 – 18: Audit at Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) of total community recycling. The goal of this audit is to set a baseline level of recycling contamination.

· June 21 – August 13: Cart-to-cart review of recyclable materials and tagging. If contamination is found on a cursory review of the materials in the recycling cart, then that cart will be tagged with a note that there is an issue. Second and subsequent tags on the same cart will result in that cart not being picked-up that week.

· Post August 13: Final audit of total recyclable materials at the MRF to determine the level of change in contamination.


For more details and timelines, visit WRRMA’s website at