The mission of the Copper Country Recycling Initiative (CCRI) is to work toward a Zero Waste System, envisioning a community that not only recycles but creates less waste in our everyday lives. This includes reducing consumption, buying in bulk, avoiding packaging, purchasing items made with recycled materials, donating items for reuse, educating the community on environmental stewardship and envisioning our trash as a resource.
1993: Grassroots group instigated a recycling trial for 6 county townships, villages and the City of Houghton. After the 6 months the trial ended.
1996: Citizen’s Committee instigated curbside recycling in Hancock. Participation in the program was 6 or 14% of the households.
2003: Waste Management established a recycling drop-off center in Houghton.
2014: Houghton County Planning Commission brought Elise Seltzer, Emmet Co. Dir. of Recycling to speak. A Task Force of people who attended the presentation was motivated to apply for a new MDEQ grant program to recycle cardboard at the County Transfer Station and the CCRI was born.
2015: CCRI received a $92,000 MDEQ grant (the largest in the state) to recycle cardboard and provide recycling education program.
2016: A cardboard recycling center was completed at the Houghton County Transfer Station, and another one at the Chassell Township headquarters. Cardboard Launch celebration at the Portage Lake District Library.
2016 Fall: Working together both cities of Hancock and Houghton awarded contracts to Waste Management, which included curbside recycling.
2017 Recycling 1-Year Anniversary Celebration at PLDL.
2020 CCRI Survey of the County
2020 Earth Day County offers single stream recycling at Transfer Station
CCRI has partnered with businesses, organizations and local governmental agencies to promote recycling in our area.
Houghton County BOC
Cities of Houghton and Hancock
MTU SDH, Sustainability Demonstration House
MTU faculty: Dr. Siegel, Dr. Wellstead, Dr. Winkler
MTU CSEO, Center for Science and Environmental Outreach
MTU office of Resilience and Sustainability
LSSI, Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative
Area businesses (supporters of our cardboard recycling):
Down Wind Sports
Rhythm Bike & Board Co.
Dan Riutta Contracting & Sales
Cross Country Sports
Good Times Music
Blue Terra Energy
The Print Shop
BHK Child Development Board
Manderfield Plumbing, Heating & Electric
State Wide Real Estate – Kevin Liimatta
Keweenaw Brewing Company
\Portage Lake District Library
Keweenaw Food Co-op
Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative
Keweenaw Kountry Store