2015-03-05 / News

More Trash Going Into Landfills

Waste sent to Michigan landfills increased last year by 5.6%, according to an annual solid waste report released by the Department of Environmental Quality Tuesday, February 10. This is an increase of more than two million cubic yards. At current rates, and presuming no new capacity is permitted, Michigan landfills have about 26 years of remaining disposal capacity.

While the increased waste generated is seen by many a sign of the state’s economic resurgence, the DEQ said, it also underscores the importance of Michigan’s effort to increase residential recycling statewide. Every year, Michiganders landfill $435 million of recyclable metals, plastics, and wood. Developing new markets for these valuable materials is one component of a state initiative to double Michigan’s residential recycling rate within the next two years.

The DEQ is working with municipalities to increase access to recycling, measure progress, and provide technical assistance and education.

Some of Michigan’s trash comes from other places. Waste from Canada and long-haul states like Florida and Pennsylvania declined, while waste from Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio increased.

All Michigan landfills are required to submit information on disposal to the DEQ. The department compiles the information into an annual report for the legislature.

The following information shows specific amounts of waste disposed in Michigan from various jurisdictions:

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