Michigan Landfill Waste Down 6 Percent
A report released Jan.
31 by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality shows that the
overall amount of waste disposed of in the state’s landfills decreased
over 6 percent in Fiscal Year 2007; however, imported trash continues
to account for 29 percent of the total amount.
The Report of Solid Waste Landfilled in Michigan
documents 58,204,510 cubic yards of solid waste disposed of in Michigan
landfills in FY 2007, with the waste generated by Michigan citizens
decreasing by about 4 percent, and waste imported from other states and
Canada decreasing by about 10 percent.
The largest source of waste imports into Michigan continues to be
from Canada, equaling about 19 percent of all waste disposed of in
Michigan landfills for a total amount of 10,982,984 cubic yards.
Michigan does not currently require comprehensive reporting of the
amounts of waste generated, only the amounts of waste disposed of in
landfills, making it difficult to determine the reason for the overall
decline in landfill disposals in FY 2007. The decreases in both
in-state and imported waste disposal are likely due to various factors,
including current economic conditions and transportation costs,
potential changes in recycling rates, landfills reducing disposal
amounts, improved data collection and reporting by landfills, changes
in landfill disposal contracts, and Ontario’s commitment to phase out
its exports of municipally-managed solid waste to Michigan.
“The data suggests that we are disposing of less waste, but it does
not tell us why that is occurring,” said DEQ Director Steven E.
Chester. “What is clear is that imported waste continues to make up a
significant percentage of our overall waste stream, and that must
Based on the capacity used during FY 2007, the reduction of waste
disposed, and additional permitted landfill capacity, it is estimated
that Michigan landfills have approximately 22 years of remaining
The DEQ released a stakeholder-driven update to Michigan's Solid
Waste Policy in 2007 that provides a framework to guide state
management of solid wastes. Some of the goals outlined in the policy
include stronger reporting requirements to better understand where
waste is generated and where it goes, finding uses for 50 percent of
the municipal solid waste by 2015 and ensuring that all citizens have
convenient access to residential recycling programs by 2012.
Copies of the report are available at http://www.michigan.gov/deq (click on “Waste,” “Solid Waste,” and under the “Information” tab, click on “Annual Reports of Solid Waste Landfilled”).
WASTE IN MICHIGAN'S LANDFILLS
||Waste Volume (cubic yards)
|| FY 2006