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Solid Waste Programs

EGLE is focused on reducing the impacts of material choices on our natural resources, the environment, and climate by establishing convenient, inclusive access to recycling, organics management, waste reduction opportunities, and adequate disposal options.

Consistent with Michigan's Solid Waste Policy, our programs recognize waste as a resource that should be managed to promote economic vitality, ecological integrity, and improved quality of life in a way that fosters sustainability. In addition to ensuring that waste disposal practices are protective of the public and environment, we promote a systematic approach to using/reusing resources productively and sustain-ably throughout their life cycles, from the point of resource extraction through material recycling or final disposal.

Materials management includes managing recyclables, organics, tires, wood, concrete, and other materials traditionally considered trash and landfilled.

How Landfills Work

Have you ever wondered:

  • How landfills work?
  • How they are designed, operated and maintained?
  • What happens every day at a landfill?
  • What role EGLE has in overseeing landfills and protecting human health and the environment? 

Check out our story map to answer all of these questions and more. 

Launch the story map: How Landfills Work 

Sustainable Materials Management Hierarchy

The sustainable materials management hierarchy prioritizes actions we can all take to prevent and divert unwanted materials from being landfilled. Each level in the hierarchy focuses on different management strategies for recovering value from unwanted materials.  The top levels share the best ways to prevent and divert materials from being landfilled. They provide the most benefits for the environment, society, and the economy, while the bottom levels represent the worst options. 

Preventing waste is the #1 action each of us can do to preserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and curb climate change.

Download the sustainable materials management hierarchy
When houses fall into foreclosure and cannot be saved or renovated, Land Banks often turn to demolition to help clean up eyesores and open up property to interested buyers. However, a new movement is beginning to help salvage some of those materials for recycling and reuse. It's called deconstruction. This video explains how one county in Michigan is moving forward with its plans to create a more sustainable alternative to waste.

An Alternative to Waste: A Deconstruction Story

Deconstruction is a form of recycling where construction and building materials are disassembled from old buildings that would have otherwise been strictly demolished. The material that are salvaged during deconstruction can be reused or recycled for other purposes.

Solid Waste Programs

A large yellow tanker driving through a farm field applying biosolids

Beneficial Use

This program is designed to help communities and businesses find innovative ways to reuse industrial byproducts that are either designated inert or non-hazardous while ensuring public and environmental health is protected. This program helps in reducing overall costs to the economy by recycle/reuse and keeps those material out of landfills. This program relies on the latest science, engineering principles, and controls to provide adequate solid waste characterization.

A state of Michigan employee holding a handful of finished compost.


Composting is good for the environment by reducing landfill waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing carbon in the atmosphere.  The Compost Program has information and resources for all composters, from backyard setups to large commercial facilities, and anything in-between. 

Tabletop of neatly organized electronics

Electronic Waste Take Back Program

The Michigan Electronic Waste Take Back Program assures that consumers in the state have convenient access to proper reuse and recycling of unwanted electronics. This includes assuring that manufacturers are complying with Michigan’s Extended Producer Responsibility law and that recyclers of electronics are meeting essential environmental and data security standards.

Materials Management in Michigan Program Logo

Materials Management in Michigan (M3)

EGLE is helping communities keep materials out of landfills and finding the highest and best use for them.

This page provides resources as part of EGLE's effort to help communities, residents, businesses, and materials management professionals connect and work towards meeting our goals of increasing material management opportunities across Michigan and achieving carbon neutrality in 2050.
A medical waste bin on a countertop

Medical Waste Regulatory Program

The Medical Waste Regulatory Program manages producers of regulated wastes by location in Michigan. Facilities are registered and regulated in an environmental and public health protective manner. The program assists both industries and the public regarding the proper disposal of medical waste in accordance with the current state regulations.

Recycling Activity Reports Banner

Recycling Reporting

The Part 175 Recycling Reporting law requires certain recycling facilities to register and report the amount of certain common recyclables they process each year. Once reported, the aggregated data is published online in an annual report.

A large pile of scrap tires.

Scrap Tire Program

The scrap tire program regulates transportation, storage and disposal of scrap tires under Part 169 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. An annual registration is required for scrap tire haulers and collection sites.

A garbage truck among piles of trash.

Solid Waste Haulers

Although the solid waste regulations do not require a license, permit, or registration from EGLE to haul solid waste, there are several regulations that haulers must meet to ensure human health and our environment are protected.

EGLE staff learning about and standing on a closed landfill.

Solid Waste Disposal Area

EGLE regulates facilities used for the handling and disposal of solid waste under Part 115, Solid Waste Management, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended.  Transfer facilities, processing plants,  solid waste landfills, and industrial surface impoundments used for waste disposal are all subject to the permitting, licensing and operational standards established under Michigan’s Solid Waste Management Regulatory program. 

Meeting participants discuss details over a round table.

Solid Waste Planning

Each county in Michigan has a Solid Waste Management Plan that ensures adequate disposal capacity and assures that all the non-hazardous solid waste generated in the county is collected and recovered, processed, or disposed at facilities that comply with state laws and rules.

The State is shifting its focus from disposal to materials management. In the future, Counties will be transitioning from Solid Waste Management Plans to plans with a materials management focus. This shift will increase recycling access, infrastructure, and market development as well as, Counties will be encouraged to look at and integrate other sustainable practices.