Washtenaw County is currently in the process of amending its Solid Waste Management Plan. This page will contain key information on this process.
Every county in the state of Michigan is required to have an approved Solid Waste Management Plan. The main purpose of a plan is to make sure we have adequate disposal capacity for any waste generated within the county; to set goals for waste reduction and recycling; and to protect public health.
The current approved Washtenaw County Solid Waste Management Plan was developed in 1999. The state has not required a plan update since then. A county can initiate a plan amendment for any reason. In our case, Advanced Disposal made a request in 2015 to open the plan for amendment as a first step towards pursuing an expansion at their current landfill site – Arbor Hills in Salem Township. On August 29, 2016, Advanced Disposal suspended their request to expand the landfill. See the letter and press release from Advanced Disposal detailing this decision.
The Solid Waste Planning Committee continued with the Amendment process. The landscape of waste and recycling has changed dramatically since the current plan was passed in 1999, and the Committee wanted to use this opportunity to update our priorities and goals. As a leader within the state, our plan should reflect the waste diversion and recycling mindset that is prevalent in our community.
Draft Washtenaw County Solid Waste Plan Amendment
The official public comment period for the draft Washtenaw County Solid Waste Plan began Friday April 21, 2017. The period will proceed for at least 90 days.
Please for more information on viewing the draft Plan, submitting public comments and attending public meetings.
Solid Waste Management Planning Committee
The plan amendment is developed by a 14 member Solid Waste Management Planning Committee. The Committee consists of the following members, as required by the state: 4 represent the solid waste management industry; 2 represent environmental interest groups; 1 represents county government; 1represents city government; 1 represents township government; 1 represents the regional solid waste planning agency; 1 represents industrial waste generators; and 3 represent the general public.
Each month, the Committee meets to develop the plan. The first steps are to collect data and information about current activities and infrastructure in the county. Then, the data is reviewed and analyzed to understand where strengths and weaknesses exist within the system. The committee will also set priorities and goals related to waste diversion and reduction.
Plan Approval Process
Once the plan has been developed and approved by the Solid Waste Management Planning Committee, it will then enter into the approval process. The first step in approval is to make the draft amended plan available for public review for at least 90 days with a public hearing. The next step is for the Committee to recommend the draft plan amendment to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners (BOC). Once approved by the BOC, the draft amendment will be shared and presented to all municipalities within the county. The plan is required to receive approval from 67% of municipalities. If this approval is received, the draft amended plan is submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for approval.
Over the summer of 2016, we asked residents to complete a survey to gauge current and future solid waste, recycling, composting, reuse and reduction needs. Thank you to those who took the time to provide feedback!
Arbor Hills Answers:
New website with current information about the Arbor Hills landfill, as well as an online form to report odor, traffic and other nuisance complaints
Green Room Video on Ann Arbor’s CTN: Bryan Weinert, Recycle Ann Arbor, and Jim Frey, Resource Recycling Systems, discuss Washtenaw County’s Solid Waste Management Plan and how it helps us to throw away less.