Skip to main content

Landfill Prohibited Materials and Appropriate Disposal Options

Section 11514 of Part 115, Solid Waste Management, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA), and its rules prohibit specific materials from being disposed in a non-hazardous solid waste landfill. This Webpage identifies landfill prohibited wastes and common special wastes with additional management requirements for landfill disposal. It identifies how the listed materials must be handled, who has regulatory oversight for their handling, and how to find more information.

LANDFILL PROHIBITED MATERIALS AND SPECIAL WASTES

ASBESTOS* – Asbestos demolition, waste handling, and disposal are subject to a federal National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Air Quality Division (AQD) implements the asbestos NESHAP program in Michigan. Landfills and abatement contractors must have provisions in place to meet the NESHAP. To determine if a landfill accepts asbestos, including how to prepare and ship it, contact the landfill. For information on the Asbestos NESHAP, go to Michigan.gov/EGLEAsbestos and contact your local district office, Asbestos Program staff.

BEVERAGE CONTAINERS – If a deposit was paid on a beverage container, return it to any retailer that sells the beverage or recycle it through your local recycling program. If no deposit was paid, recycle it through your local recycling program where possible. For local household recycling options, search the Michigan Recycling Directory available at Michigan.gov/EGLERecycling. For commercial recycling options, search the Michigan Recycled Materials Market Directory available at Michigan.gov/RMMD.

YARD CLIPPINGS – Yard clippings such as grass, leaves, sticks, and landscape trimmings should be composted onsite or taken to a composting facility. Only yard clippings that are diseased, infested, or part of an invasive species control program can be landfilled. Check with your city, township, or trash vendor to see if they collect these materials. Large registered composting facilities can be found on-line at Michigan.gov/EGLECompost. Smaller facilities that accept compost from residents can be found in the Michigan Recycling Directory available at Michigan.gov/RecyclingDirectory. For more information on composting, go to Michigan.gov/EHSGuide and see Chapter 2, Section 2.1.1.b.

EMPTY DRUMS – Drums must be either full of solid waste or be crushed to be disposed of in a solid waste landfill. To locate drum recyclers, visit the Recycled Materials Market Directory available on-line at Michigan.gov/RMMD.

HAZARDOUS WASTE – Most hazardous waste from businesses and institutions must be taken to a licensed hazardous waste management facility. Hazardous waste management facilities are subject to additional requirements and licensed separately from solid waste landfills. Household hazardous waste, such as solvents, cleansers, and pesticides are not prohibited from landfills. However, they are not well suited for solid waste disposal either. As a result, waste haulers, solid waste receiving facilities, and some municipalities may have special guidelines for disposal of household hazardous waste. Residents can find household hazardous waste collection options at Michigan.gov/EGLEHHW. To learn more about how hazardous waste from non-households must be managed, go to Michigan.gov/EHSGuide and see Chapter 2, Section 2.4. Contact your local district office, Hazardous Waste Program staff with questions.

BULK LIQUIDS - Bulk liquids from businesses and institutions must be solidified before they can lawfully be disposed in solid waste landfills. Often liquids can be recycled too. To learn more about how bulk liquids and liquid industrial by-products, like antifreeze, non-hazardous wastewaters and chemical formulations, vegetable, and animal oils from businesses and institutions must be managed, go to Michigan.gov/EHSGuide, and see Chapter 2, Section 2.3. Similar liquids from households are not prohibited from landfills. However, they too are not well suited for landfill disposal and may have special guidelines established by waste haulers, solid waste landfills, or municipalities. Residents can search for residential collection options at Michigan.gov/EGLEHHW. Non-households can search for commercial recycling options by visiting the Recycled Materials Market Directory at Michigan.gov/RMMD. For questions on handling bulk liquids and liquid industrial by-products, contact your local district office, Hazardous Waste Program staff with questions.

LEAD ACID BATTERIES – Lead acid batteries can generally be recycled through the retailer or auto repair shop that sells the new battery. If that is not an option and it is from your personal equipment from your residence, go to Michigan.gov/EGLEHHW to find recycling options. Businesses generating batteries, should go to Michigan.gov/EHSGuide and see Chapter 2, Section 2.7.3 and contact your local district office, Hazardous Waste Program staff with questions.

LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTELow-level radioactive waste includes items contaminated with radioactive materials or that have become radioactive through exposure to neutron radiation. Generally, these are generated from nuclear power generation, healthcare services, and research and development activities. These materials must be handled at a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensed facility. For questions about low-level radioactive waste, contact Radiological Protection Program staff at 517-284-5185. For questions about NRC licensing, call 800-522-3025.

MEDICAL WASTEMedical waste from businesses and institutions must be managed to meet Michigan’s Public Health Code to prevent infection and disease hazards. Prior to disposal in solid waste landfills, medical waste must be packaged and labeled in accordance with Part 138 of Michigan’s Public Health Code, and treated by autoclave, incineration, or disposed of via an alternative treatment method approved by EGLE. Although needles and lancets generated by residents are not prohibited from landfill disposal, like household hazardous waste and bulk liquids, they are not ideal for solid waste disposal. Waste haulers and solid waste receiving facilities may have special guidelines for disposal these items. To find household collection options, go to Michigan.gov/EGLEDrugDisposal and search EGLE’s interactive map. For more information on medical waste handling from businesses and institutions, see Michigan.gov/EHSGuide, Chapter 2, Section 2.5.

PCB WASTE*PCBs containing waste materials are subject to the Toxic Substances Control Act, which is implemented in Michigan by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). Contact the landfill to see if they accept PCB wastes and verify their information with the U.S. EPA by calling 312-886-7890. For more information on PCBs, go to EPA.gov/PCBs. For details on their management and disposal requirements, see Michigan.gov/EHSGuide, Chapter 4, Section 4.5.

SCRAP TIRESScrap tires should be recycled where possible. For details on the management requirements for scrap tires from businesses and institutions, see Michigan.gov/EHSGuide, Chapter 2, Section 2.5. A landfill may accept tires for disposal if they are cut in half or otherwise processed by shredding, cutting, or chipping. A list of registered scrap tire facilities, including scrap tire haulers, collection sites, processors, and end users is located at Michigan.gov/ScrapTires. Residents can find scrap tire collection options by searching the Michigan Recycling Directory available at Michigan.gov/RecyclingDirectory.

SEPTAGE*Septage includes domestic wastewaters removed from on-site septic systems, cesspools, treatment works, sewer clean-outs, portable toilets, and marine sanitation devices AND food establishment wastewaters from grease interceptors that are mixed with 3 parts septage. Septage handling, transport, and disposal are overseen by EGLE’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division. For details on their management and disposal requirements, see Michigan.gov/EHSGuide, Chapter 3, Section 3.2.2.

TECHNICALLY ENHANCED NATURALLY OCCURRING RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS (TENORM)* – TENORM includes items and materials whose concentrations of naturally occurring radioactive material have become elevated through human activity. Common activities that may produce TENORM are oil and gas production, minerals extraction, and water treatment. For questions about TENORM and its handling and disposal requirements, contact the Radiological Protection Program staff at 517-284-5185.

USED OIL – Used oil must be recycled in Michigan. Oil change locations often accept used oil from residents if it is not mixed with other liquids. Residents can also search the Michigan Recycling Directory available at Michigan.gov/RecyclingDirectory or look for locally-sponsored collections at Michigan.gov/EGLEHHW. To learn about the business requirements that apply to managing used oil, see Michigan/EHSGuide, Chapter 2, Section 2.7.1. For questions on managing used oil, contact your local district office, Hazardous Waste Program staff.

*These wastes may be disposed in a solid waste landfill if specific management standards overseen by EGLE and/or U.S. EPA are met. In some cases, a specific permit or license is required.

LANDFILL OWNER OPERATOR PROHIBITED WASTE GUIDANCE AND FORMS