07/19/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/19/2021 10:42
Record numbers of people are heading to Michigan's outdoors this summer, exploring forests to enjoy the beauty of wildflowers, bright songbirds and splashing waterways. This captivating scenery is, unfortunately, sometimes marred by something less beautiful: dumpsites.
Trash in the forest isn't just ugly - it's hazardous to people, wildlife and the environment. If you want to help care for the wild places you love, join Adopt-a-Forest, a volunteer-driven cleanup program bringing people together to protect the outdoors. Because of this program, more than half of illegally dumped trash removed from public lands in the last 10 years has been recycled.
First, find a location using the online dumpsite database and fill out a volunteer waiver. Then, pack the right gear - including gloves, sturdy boots, sun protection and bug spray - before heading to the forest for a cleanup. Lastly, let us know to check it off the list by filling out a report - and then feel great about the good work you just did!
If a hands-on cleanup isn't right for you, Adopt-a-Forest also needs assistance with scouting sites and sharing proper disposal resources, and accepts donations for supplies and heavy equipment rental.
'Proper disposal of waste keeps the environment clean, safe and beautiful,' said Phil Roycraft, district supervisor with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, who handles waste programs across the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula. 'A lot of items people throw out can actually be recycled, and all can be disposed of responsibly.'
Here are a few resources for responsible recycling and waste disposal:
See someone dumping? Report it to the DNR's Report All Poaching hotline. Find something potentially hazardous in the woods? Contact EGLE's Environmental Assistance Center or the Pollution Emergency Alert System if it's clearly a hazard needing immediate attention.