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Solid Waste and Recycling Advisors

Pallets of Cardboard being Recycled
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Solid Waste and Recycling Advisors

The Solid Waste and Sustainability Advisory Panel (SWSAP) and the Governor's Recycling Council (GRC) were two separate stakeholder advisory groups that were appointed beginning in 2014 and together made up the Solid Waste and Recycling Advisors.  Their collective charge was to advise how to further the state's solid waste, sustainability, and recycling goals.  Their deliberations over the past few years have culminated in the development of two separate but complementary reports.

Many of the recommendations will require legislation.  As the next step of legislation development progresses, it is extremely important to obtain support from representatives from a variety of interest groups. Education and outreach materials have been developed the SWSAP, GRC, and the proposed legislation that was developed based on their recommendations that may be utilized by organizations to assist with educating their members. 

Michigan’s current solid waste laws are outdated. Throughout the past 40 + years, the law has successfully focused on creating disposal capacity for landfills. Today, however, that focus needs to be shifted to create more materials management infrastructure and manage waste as a resource, and not just as something destined for disposal. Throughout the past 5+ years, EGLE and a wide variety of stakeholders have worked to develop recommendations to amend the current Solid Waste laws to bring them to a 21st century system.

This effort is part of the statewide initiative to shift our focus from disposal to materials management, which aims to utilize end-of-life materials to their highest and best use.  To ensure this shift for future generations to come, EGLE’s efforts include developing stronger measurement and reporting of materials management facilities, market development projects to strengthen our circular economy, a statewide education campaign to increase quality and quantity of recycled materials, grants to improve infrastructure and engagement, and working with a diverse stakeholder group to develop proposed amendments to the outdated Part 115 solid waste statute to ensure updates for today’s priorities.

Solid Waste Laws Revision

The Governor’s Recycling Council and Solid Waste and Sustainability Advisory Panel developed recommendations to increase the recycling rate and update Michigan’s solid waste laws. 

Currently, Michigan’s solid waste laws are relatively silent on promoting other materials management options such as waste reduction, recycling, composting, and anaerobic digestion, which has contributed to a relatively low municipal rate within the state. These groups envision a dynamic and robust materials management economy that addresses these issues and benefits a wide variety of individuals, organizations, governments, and businesses. They shift the focus to seeing solid waste as a resource that in turn helps protect Michigan’s environment and public health by managing air, water, land, and energy resources in a more sustainable way.