Composting in Michigan

  • Do you throw away your kitchen scraps, toss leftovers, or dispose of yard waste?

    If so, composting may be for you!

    Composting is good for the environment. Unlike landfills that can release methane, a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change, composting breaks down organic material without releasing methane into the atmosphere.

    Composting produces what gardeners call "black gold," a nutrient rich soil supplement that holds moisture and will help your garden grow.

    There are many ways to compost - you can find a composter or community garden near you that takes food scraps and organic materials, or you can even compost in your own backyard! Use the resources below to help find a fit for you and your family!

     

Commercial Composting

Food Waste and Recovery

Residential

  • Residential Composting

    • Contact: Aaron Hiday, HidayA@Michigan.gov, 517-282-7546

       

      Placing food into compost bin

      At home composting can be an easy way to use the food and yard waste from your home.

      Composting requires three basic ingredients:

      1. Browns
      2. Greens
      3. Water

      Browns are materials like dead leaves, branches, and twigs.

      Greens can include grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds.

      Composting at home can give you a way to enrich your soils, reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, encourage the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi in your soil while also reducing methane gas emissions from landfills and lowering your carbon footprint.

    How To ...

    • How to Start Composting at Home

      Use the EGLE Home Composting Guide to begin.Man standing in front of home made composting bin with pumpkin

      Do NOT compost materials if they promote disease, cause odors, attract pests, or create other nuisances. These include meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, foods containing animal fats, and human/pet feces.
       

    • How to Handle Invasive Weeds

      purple flowering invasive weedInvasive plant species SHOULD NOT be composted.

      Composting does not always kill invasive plants and could cause spread.

      Diseased, infested plants, or plants that were collected through an eradication or control program can be landfilled or incinerated.

      Examples of invasive plants include, but are not limited to, garlic mustard, purple loosestrife, and spotted knapweed.

      There are various organizations and agencies with specific programs in Michigan that target the control, removal, and eradication of invasive species. Many of these groups are part of Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) across Michigan. For more information on CISMAs and invasive species, visit Michigan.gov/Invasives.

    • How to Find a Compost Facility that Takes Yard Waste

      Check with your local city/township or use the Michigan Recycling Directory to find facilities near you.

      A list of registered composting facilities is posted at Michigan.gov/EGLECompost.




School Resources

Marijuana

  • Composting Marijuana

    • Contact: Aaron Hiday, HidayA@Michigan.gov, 517-282-7546

       

      Cannabis Plant with wording Composting Cannabis Waste

      Cannabis cultivation and processing are expanding, as hemp and both recreational and medical marijuana products are being legalized across the country. As part of this expansion, it is important to determine what environmental regulations may apply.

      The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has put together answers to frequently asked questions to aid in the understanding of the environmental regulations that apply to marijuana operations in Michigan.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • Can I mix 50% food waste with my marijuana waste to make it "unusable and unrecognizable?"

      Yes. You can mix any solid waste that is not a hazardous waste with marijuana plant waste to make it "unusable and unrecognizable."

    • Can I compost my marijuana waste to utilize in my own marijuana growing operation?

      Yes, but only if the following apply:

      1. There are no residual chemicals present in the marijuana waste.
      2. The marijuana waste is completely contained within a composting container, within a building, or under a roof on top of a cement pad.
      3. If composting outside without cover, approval through Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) and EGLE is required before composting begins. Depending on the scale and type of materials being composted, EGLE may require the facility to obtain a Compost Facility Registration through EGLE's Composting Program.
      4. All the finished compost product is utilized in the growing operation or is properly disposed of in accordance with MRA rules and regulations.
      5. Michigan's MRA has approved the use of the finished material in the growing operation.

       

    • Can I send my marijuana plant waste to a compost facility?

      Yes, but only if the following apply:

      1. The compost facility is registered with EGLE.
      2. The compost facility has obtained approval from EGLE's Composting Program to take marijuana waste.
      3. The marijuana waste has been made "unusable and unrecognizable" with 50% inert organic materials that can be easily composted by the composting facility.
      4. There are no residual chemicals from the processing of the marijuana left on or in the marijuana waste (i.e., liquid butane, liquid carbon dioxide, etc.).

      Note: If off-gassing residual chemicals from the marijuana plant waste before any disposal option,

      permits through EGLE's Air Quality Division may be required.

    • What does a composting site need to do to be approved to take marijuana waste materials?

      Any Registered Composting Facility may seek approval to accept this waste by providing detailed answers to the questions in Compost Plan for Marijuana Waste (Attachment 2) and submitting them to Aaron Hiday, Compost Program Coordinator, at HidayA@Michigan.gov.

    • Can I compost my own marijuana waste or the marijuana waste of others to sell the finished compost?

      Yes, but you must obtain a Compost Facility Registration and be approved to compost marijuana waste through EGLE's Composting Program. The marijuana waste will still be required to be mixed with 50% inert organic materials to make it "unusable and unrecognizable."

    • Where can I find more information on waste issues associated with marijuana operations?

      The Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste Regulations for Growing and Processing Marijuana has information about many waste-related issues, including definitions for particular wastes and what can be done with those wastes.