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Detroit residents embrace recycling without comprehensive program

Detroit residents embrace recycling without comprehensive program.
The city of Detroit is one of many large urban areas in the United States that currently lacks a large-scale recycling program, so it has been left to the residents to take the initiative. According to The Detroit News, Matthew Naimi has set up Recycle Here!, a citywide recycling center that just barely breaks even and provides an outlet for the city's recyclable material that would otherwise end up in local landfills.

"I see Detroit being a green city in the future," Naimi told the news source. "I'm not going to claim responsibility for it, but I do think that we gave people the opportunity to show that Detroiters deserve a green city."

Recycle Here! gives Detroit residents the opportunity to bring in their recyclable material every Wednesday and Saturday and sees everything from individual homeowners to large-scale businesses doing the right thing for the environment. Naimi sees nearly 1,000 car loads of recyclables each week, and this rise in recycling has even been a way for the city to test out some pilot recycling programs. By keeping track of zip codes of his customers, Naimi has been a catalyst to help the city start recycling initiatives in areas that have high recycling rates. All of this is voluntary recycling, so the whole program has truly been a word-of-mouth phenomenon.

The organization takes everything from old electronics, plastic, glass and even old light fixtures. In addition, many of the old electronics can be purchased for fixer-uppers looking for a good deal. In many ways, Recycle Here! has filled the vacuum left by the city and has started a grassroots community movement that is dedicated to living a greener lifestyle and helping the beleaguered city get back on its feet.