Officials announced an initiative to persuade Flint, Mich. residents to recycle the volumes of plastic water bottles they’ve received because of the city’s drinking-water crisis.
Six water bottle recovery drop-off sites have been established around the city of 100,000 people, and officials are reaching out to encourage residents to use existing curbside collections provided by Republic Services. Only an estimated 16 percent of Flint residents routinely recycle, according to Michigan Radio.
Residents have been forced to steer clear of drinking tap water as officials in Flint continue to combat the widespread contamination of the city’s drinking water.
“While bottled water has been key to making sure residents have safe drinking water, it’s important to make sure we’re not harming our environment as a result,” Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley stated in a press release. “The new recycling initiative brings together state, county and city partners to make sure we are keeping plastic bottles from entering landfills or littering Flint streets.”
Residents can also take their PUR and Brita water filter cartridges to any of five water resources sites at city fire stations. New Jersey-based TerraCycle, which specializes in recycling difficult-to-recycle materials, will recycle them.
Military personnel are helping to staff the water resources sites. One National Guard soldier is being credited with saving the life of a woman who returned bottles to a center for recycling but who was badly in need of medical attention.