Skip to main content

Solid Waste Hauler Resources

Several agencies oversee solid waste haulers who transport municipal solid waste, more commonly called garbage or trash, to receiving facilities.  Receiving facilities include facilities authorized to store, process, and/or dispose of solid waste.  These may include transfer stations, material recovery facilities, solid waste solidification facilities, solid waste landfills and municipal solid waste incinerators.   

To understand how different types of wastes are classified and what must be managed as a solid waste under state and federal regulations, see the Waste 101 and Waste Characterization Webinars in the recorded Waste Webinar Series

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.  This guidance summaries the various agencies and the regulations they implement to ensure solid waste is handed safely across Michigan.

  • There are four basic requirements that solid waste haulers must meet under air and waste materials management regulations implemented by EGLE.  These regulations are found under Parts 55 and 115 of Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), and the Part 55 and 115 Rules. 

    1. Don't take banned waste to a solid waste landfill for disposal. 

    Solid waste haulers are required to annually notify their customers about what wastes are banned from landfill disposal. Solid waste haulers can use EGLE’s Landfill Prohibited Materials and Special Waste Guide to help educate customers, find more online resources on banned materials, and to connect with appropriate state and federal agencies overseeing implementation of the regulations for handling materials banned from landfill disposal in Michigan.  

    For options for handling banned materials, contact the recycling or disposal facilities in the local area for information about what materials they will and will not accept, including any special handling requirements established for safe management of the material.  A disposal facility is not required to accept everything the regulations allow. Many disposal facilities prohibit disposal of materials they could accept under the law, to ensure the safety of their staff and to limit long-term operating liabilities. Some facilities offer programs to divert unwanted materials to environmentally preferred management methods. To learn more about diverted waste and their handling requirements, see Chapter 2, Section 2.1.2h, of the Michigan’s Guide to Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulations. For additional options for disposal of household hazardous waste, see the EGLE Household Hazardous Waste Website at Michigan.gov/EGLEHHW.

    2. Meet the transporting unit requirements.

    The Part 115, Part 6 solid waste rules include requirements for transporting units used to haul solid waste. The Part 6 rules require: 

    • A unit design that prevents any of the waste from being spilled.  All openings must be closed  and doors or covers must be secured by an adequate latch or restraining mechanism to keep them closed while transporting solid waste which may blow or fall off the vehicle. The driver is responsible for using and properly positioning covers to prevent the waste from blowing or falling out of the vehicle.  The driver is responsible for having covers that don’t rip, shred, or break easily under normal use.  A special cover is required if there is a need to control odors, vermin, liquids, dust, or smoke. 
    • Unit repair if the transporting unit doesn’t meet the unit design requirements. If a unit is not repaired, it must be taken out of service. 
    • Unit cleaning regularly to reduce odors, prevent the attraction of vermin, and prevent nuisance conditions. Cleaning wash waters must be managed as a liquid industrial by-product unless they can be directly discharged to a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) having granted approval for disposal of the wash waters. Any accumulation of the wastewater prior to discharge to the WWTP needs to meet the liquid industrial by-product generator requirements as well.  For more information on managing wash waters, contact your local District Office’s liquid industrial by-products inspector. 
    • Unit loading in a manner that minimizes any of the waste being spilled. Any spillage of the waste must be picked up as soon as possible and the area properly cleaned. 
    • Unit parking to be at least 500 feet away from any residences. The unit cannot be parked or stored anywhere it could cause a health hazard or nuisance in a residentially zoned area. 
    • Purposeful dumping from the unit due to a hot load or fire, must be immediately extinguished by the most effective means and the area properly cleaned as soon as reasonably possible.

    3. Take the solid waste to a legitimate recycling facility, licensed solid waste landfill, licensed or exempt transfer station, or a permitted (and licensed, where applicable) incinerator. 

    Contact the disposal or recycling facility for their specific requirements. If you are taking solid waste out of the county where the waste was generated and into another Michigan county for handling, it must be allowed under both the generating and receiving county’s Solid Waste Management Plan.  See the EGLE Solid Waste Planning Website. County solid waste planning details are found under the headings “Import/Export Authorizations” and “Currently Approved County Plans and Plan Amendments.” After reviewing online planning details, verify the handling and disposal options by contacting the county designated planning agent.  A map of solid waste facilities actively accepting solid waste for disposal is also available to find disposal options. The Waste Data System is available online at https://www.egle.state.mi.us/wdspi/Home.aspx and can be searched to locate solid waste landfills, transfer stations, and processing plants. 

     Solid waste hauler garage

    There are two "Types" of solid waste landfills: 

    • Type II landfills which are authorized to accept municipal solid waste.   
    • Type III landfills which are authorized to accept non-hazardous construction, demolition, and industrial waste.   

    Moving waste in a solid waste landfill

    Transporters of recyclables can find a list of commercial recyclers that have notified EGLE in the Recycled Materials Market Directory available online at Michigan.gov/RMMD. Michigan has one commercially available municipal solid waste incinerator, the Kent County Resource Recovery facility located in Grand Rapids. 

    Pick up of used appliances that contain refrigerants (e.g., Freon®, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons, etc.) must have refrigerants removed. Check if the disposal company or recycler will accept appliances that contain refrigerants and find out their site-specific procedures to ensure the refrigerants are properly removed and recycled, prior to recycling the item for other commodities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the regulations that require refrigerants to be properly removed before being recycled for scrap metal or being disposed in a landfill. A certified technician must remove, recover, and recycle the refrigerants under the federal regulations enforced by EPA. See the EPA information about Complying With The Section 608 Refrigerant Recycling Rule and contact EPA at spdcomment@epa.gov with questions requesting a call back, if desired. 

    If more than seven scrap tires will be picked-up, a scrap tire hauler registration is required and the tires must be taken to a registered location designated on a scrap tire manifest. Contact the District Office scrap tire inspectors with any questions about hauling scrap tires. For more information on scrap tire regulations see the Scrap Tire Website at Michigan.gov/ScrapTires.   

    If servicing residential customers, especially when offering one time cleanout services, be aware there are times when customers have household hazardous waste that they want removed.  Before taking it, contact the disposal facility where you haul the waste to determine if you can take that type of waste to them. Encourage the customers to contact their local household hazardous waste collection programs for local disposal options. If the area does not have a local collection program, some information about finding other disposal options and alternatives to these products can be found on the Household Hazardous Waste Website for Environmental Professionals.

    4. If hauling waste into the state, meet the additional import requirements. 

    See the information and forms posted at Michigan.gov/EGLEWaste after selecting “Solid Waste,” “General Information,” and “Landfill Prohibited Materials and Appropriate Waste Disposal Options.“  Discuss solid waste import questions with the District Office solid waste inspectors. 

     
     
  • It is not uncommon for a solid waste transport unit to experience an equipment failure that results in a release of vehicle or hydraulic fluids.  When released, they become a waste and the fluids must be collected and properly disposed to eliminate any threat they pose to the public health, safety, and the environment.  Under various Parts of the NREPA (Parts 31, 111, 121 and 201), the release must be controlled, reported, cleaned up, and records must be maintained for at least three years. The records must be provided immediately upon request by EGLE staff or a law enforcement officer. A report for each spill is required, even if notification of the release through the Pollution Emergency Alert System hotline is not required.   

    In the event of an equipment failure that results in a release of vehicle or hydraulic fluids to the environment, the following must take place: 

    • Take appropriate immediate action to stop the release, prevent its spread, and clean up the affected area. Please note that spills must not be rinsed or washed into storm drains. Spills that enter storm drains or waterways may need to be cleaned up by a spill contractor utilizing special equipment and/or methods. It is recommended that solid waste haulers develop spill response policies and procedures in advance. The spilled vehicle or hydraulic fluids are a waste that must be properly characterized, managed, and disposed in accordance with the NREPA. Drivers need be trained and have equipment immediately available to respond to a spill or have the authority to immediately dispatch an experienced environmental contractor to the scene who can assist with proper response. Learn more about characterizing and properly managing waste by: 
      o Viewing the recorded waste webinar series available at Michigan.gov/EGLEWaste under “Announcements.”  
      o Reviewing Chapter 2 of the EGLE guidebook available electronically at Michigan.gov/EHSGuide.   

    If the release could threaten human health, the environment, or could have reached surface water or groundwater, report the release to the Pollution Emergency Alert System at 800-292-4706, as soon as possible providing as much detail as possible.  A summary of the release reporting requirements under the state and federal regulations can be found in the Release Notification Requirements in Michigan Table.   

    • Within 30 days of the release, prepare and maintain a written report documenting the incident that includes the following details:
    1. The name and telephone number of the person reporting the incident. 
    2. The name, address, and telephone number of the generator, transporter, or designated facility, and the site identification number of the transporter or designated facility. 
    3. The date, time, and type of incident. 
    4. The name and quantity of liquid industrial by-product involved and discharged. 
    5. The extent of injuries, if any. 
    6. The estimated quantity and disposition of recovered materials that resulted from the incident, if any. 
    7. An assessment of actual or potential hazards to human health or the environment. 
    8. The response action taken.

    Additional information on EGLE spill response requirements is found at Michigan.gov/ChemRelease, including:

  • Some areas in the state require a local business license or have other local operating requirements for solid waste haulers and handlers. Contact the county or city clerk's office regarding license or other local requirements and check with the county designated planning agent for local information regarding where the solid waste may be taken.

    Secretary of State Requirements

    For vehicle and driver licenses, see the Secretary of State online resources at Michigan.gov/SOS and use the Branch Office Locator to find your local office for details on initial and renewal licensing.

    State Police Requirements

    For information on the vehicle transportation requirements including weight restrictions, contact the Michigan Center for Truck Safety at 800-682-4682 and check-out their online resources at TruckingSafety.org.  The Michigan State Police, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, may have additional requirements for the transport of items like fire extinguishers and commercial companies hauling scrap metal for hire that are subject to the Motor Carrier Act, Act 254 of 1933. See their online resources at Michigan.gov/MSP, after selecting “Divisions,” and “Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division” or call 734-780-6534 for questions. 

    Department of Labor and Economic Growth Requirements

    Worker health and safety issues are overseen by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA).  For more information on MIOSHA’s requirements, see their Part 17, Refuse Packer Units Standards, their Consultation Education and Training Division website at Michigan.gov/CET or call 517-284-7720 for help.

    New Business Assistance

    Go to Michigan.org/MEDC/Services/Startups and follow the business links or call the Michigan Economic Development Corp at 888-522-0103 for help starting up a new business.  They have information about taxes, registering a company name, plus much more. If you have additional environmental questions, contact the EGLE Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662- 9278 or send an email to EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov.