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.