Take action against proposed changes in Michigan yard waste laws

OKT received this notice from WMEAC
ImageTrash and Burn Compost in 2012? Michigan may soon be disposing of yard waste, such as leaves and grass clippings, in landfills rather than composting facilities if House Bills 4265 and 4266 are passed and signed into law.

In 1995, Michigan banned the disposal of yard waste in landfills, thereby reducing the need for new landfill sites and encouraging greater use of composting, turning yard waste into nutrient rich humus. Organic material such as yard trimmings, food scraps and paperboard continue to make up the largest portion of municipal solid waste in the United States. Of this waste, approximately 13 percent33 million tons per year, is made up of yard waste and trimmings.

Disposing of yard trimmings in landfills wastes resources, reduces recycling, potentially increases greenhouse gas emissions through increased methane production, and costs Michigan jobs. By burying organic waste, nutrients that could have been reused to improve the health of the soil and plants are essentially being locked away.

The methane produced by the anaerobic decomposition of yard waste in landfills is supposed to be harnessed to generate electricity, but it is estimated that approximately 25 percent of the methane generated by a landfill will escape.
Finally, the reduction of yard waste composting will likely cost Michigan jobs. Four composting jobs are created for every 10,000 tons per year of compostable material compared to one job for landfilling or incinerating the same material.

Take Action

Ask your Representative to oppose HB 4265 and 4266 and to instead support programs and policies that increase composting and recycling within Michigan.