New authority to take over recycling in Alpena

A newly formed Northeast Michigan Materials Management Authority will be taking over management and operation of the Resource Recovery Facility in Alpena January 1.

The recycling authority Articles of Incorporation were adopted by county commissioners during their monthly meeting Tuesday. The city and Charter Township of Alpena are expected to adopt them in the near future.

Commissioners pledged $500,000 toward construction of a new material recovery facility (MRF) at the airport on the condition that an authority be formed. The authority will not only manage and operate the recycling center, it will be responsible for all debt associated with the center, relieving the county of that obligation.

The county, city and charter township of Alpena will each have two seats on the new authority. The other seven townships in the county can have one seat on the authority if they choose to do so. In addition, other counties in the region may someday have an option to join. They will definitely be invited to drop off their recyclables to the new center once it is operational.

The current recycling board continues to search for funding options for the new recycling center, which comes with an estimated price tag of $5.8 million. It is also looking into the potential of securing a no interest loan. The goal is to start construction in 2023 with a completion date in 2024.