City Asks Residents to Help Fund Recycling Bins and Bike Racks

Monday, September 5, 2016, 3:59 pm
Alice Dreger

Photo courtesy City of East Lansing; shown left to right, Shanna Draheim (City Council), Peter Dewan (DDA), Emily Freeman (MDEQ), Janet Skrbina (Amcor) and Kate Reimer (Amcor).

East Lansing City Councilmember Shanna Draheim and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Chair Peter Dewan kicked off the “EL Going Green” fundraiser at the Ann Street Plaza last Thursday. Through the “EL Going Green” campaign, the City is looking to raise $30,000 in contributions from the community by October 14. If this is achieved, the City will obtain $30,000 in matching state-level funding for “the installation of at least 20 new sets of public refuse/recycling containers and 40 new bike parking locations in downtown East Lansing.”

According to a press release from the City, “The City of East Lansing has already received a $25,000 grant from Amcor, a global leader in responsible packaging solutions, and a $30,000 contribution from the East Lansing DDA to implement the first phase of the project, which includes the current installation of 30 sets of refuse/recycling containers in the downtown. Additional funding is necessary; however, to meet the needs throughout the entire downtown.”

At Thursday’s kick-off event, DDA Chair Dewan remarked that this is “an exciting time in East Lansing,” with new businesses locating downtown in East Lansing and new projects being constructed. He said there is no greater measure of the success of a city than to be inviting and accessible, and, he said, the DDA has been allocating funds accordingly to provide public art, recycling opportunities, and welcoming public spaces.

Taking the lead at the kick-off event, Councilmember Draheim thanked Amcor and the DDA for helping to “green up” downtown. Draheim works professionally in environmental technologies focusing on sustainability. She said that our recycling systems have been much improved over the last several years, and specifically praised the work of Department of Public Works administrator Cathy DeShambo.

Also speaking to those gathered on Thursday were Kate Reimer and Janet Skrbina, sustainability specialists for the packaging corporation Amcor, which is contributing funds for bright green recycling bins downtown. They told those in attendance for the event that Amcor believes in “responsible packaging,” and that that includes encouraging recycling of plastic bottles and cans.

“We understand the harmful effects of plastics on the environment if they are not disposed of properly,” the Amcor representatives told the small crowd. They encouraged others to “invest in this opportunity” to make East Lansing more recycling-friendly.

ELi has previously reported how Amcor and other beverage corporations have contributed financially to East Lansing’s newest recycling programs in exchange for recognition at events like these.

The crowdfunding website is at


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