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Michigan Solid Waste Policy

Michigan's Solid Waste Policy was first adopted in 1988.  At that time, there were fears that Michigan would run out of landfill space and the focus was to ensure adequate disposal capacity was available to Michigan residents. Today's challenges are different. Laws and regulations have changed; technology has changed; and Michigan' economy has changed.

All of these changes and the desire to improve how Michigan manages waste prompted stakeholders to update to the policy in 2007. Michigan's 2007 Solid Waste Policy presented a fundamentally different approach to making solid waste management decisions. It promoted the bold, new perspective of viewing waste materials as a resource, a feedstock eligible for use in a growing global economy. Michigan's Solid Waste Policy was updated again in 2017.

The policy, which remains in place today, focuses on three key principles of sustainability:

  • Economic vitality.
  • Ecological integrity.
  • Improved quality of life.

EGLE's Sustainability Materials Management Hierarchy highlights Michigan's sustainable materials management approach and provides a simple roadmap to help making more sustainable choices that benefit everyone.

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