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Composting Registration

The Materials Management Division (MMD) within the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has the responsibility for receiving registration forms from owners of operators of composting facilities that accept yard clippings and that meet certain requirements under the authority of Part 115 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. Yard clippings includes leaves, grass clippings, vegetable or other garden debris, shrubbery, or brush and tree trimmings less than four feet in length and two inches in diameter. It does not include stumps, agricultural waste, animal waste, roots, sewage sludge, or garbage.

The purpose of the registration is for owners or operators to qualify their composting facilities by meeting certain requirements of Part 115. This is to ensure that yard clippings are only taken to facilities that operate in a manner that protects the public health, environment, and public trust. Facilities accepting other solid wastes for composting may need to obtain a permit and license as a solid waste processing plant under Part 115 depending on the waste (Solid Waste Disposal Area Construction Permit and Operating License). Businesses are encouraged to discuss operations with the EGLE MMD District Office.

NAME OF PERMIT OR APPROVAL: Registered Composting Facility Form (EQP5228).

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Public Act 451 of 1994, as amended Part 115, Solid Waste Management

APPLICABLE REGULATIONPart 115, Section 11521 and the Part 115 Rules R 299.4101 - R 299.4922 (Part 115).


Applicability (activities that require the permit): Composting facilities that have more than 200 cubic yards of yard clippings and unfinished compost that do not meet one of the following management options must register with EGLE. Sites not required to register include:

  • Composted on the property where the yard clippings are generated.
  • Temporarily accumulated under specific conditions as listed in Sec 11521(2).
  • Composted at a composting facility containing not more than 200 cubic yards of yard clippings if decomposition occurs without nuisance.
  • Composted on a farm registered with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) under certain circumstances as listed in Sec 11521(3).
  • Decomposed in a controlled manner using a closed container to create and maintain anaerobic conditions (i.e. anaerobic digester).
  • Composted and used as part of normal operations by a municipal solid waste landfill under certain conditions.
  • Processed at a processing plant permitted and licensed under Part 115.
  • Disposed of in a landfill or an incinerator, but only if the yard clippings are diseased, infested, or are composed of invasive plants that were collected through an eradication or control program, include no more than a de minimis amount of other yard clippings, and are inappropriate to compost.

Pre-Application Requirements: Facilities accepting more than 200 cubic yards of yard clippings that do not meet one of the other management options listed in 11521(1) must register and must meet location restrictions and operating requirements identified in Sec 11521(4). Annual activity reports on forms (EQP 5229) provided by EGLE must be submitted by October 30th of each year summarizing composting activities from October 1 through September 30 of the previous year.

Application Submission Requirements: Submit the required information on the registration form provided by EGLE and fee payment for the term of the registration. A composting facility beginning operations on and after March 28, 2008, needs to submit a registration form and fee prior to beginning operations. Facilities must renew registrations every three years from the date of their initial application.

Procedures and Time-Frame for Registration: This is a self-implementing program; no permits or approvals are issued. A site qualifies as a registered composting site if it submits a properly completed registration form and fee payment, annual reports, and operates in accordance with the location restrictions and operating conditions identified in Sec 11521(4).

Operational Requirements: Registered sites must meet requirements identified in Sec 11521(4). Location restrictions are dependent when the facility began operations. See guidance available at Stormwater and compost waste water must be managed in compliance with Part 31, Water Resources Management, of the NREPA. Guidance can be found on the composting website or or by contacting local district staff in Water Resources Division. 

Fees: $600 for the three-year term of the registration. 

Appeal Process: No formal appeal process is provided for in MCL 324.11521. 

Public Input Opportunities: Complaints or comments related to a composting facility may be filed with EGLE at any time. The complaints will be investigated and if they are validated through a finding of a violation then the EGLE will pursue corrective actions with the operator. EGLE maintains a list of registered composting sites on their program web page.

ADMINISTERING AGENCY: Materials Management Division, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, 525 West Allegan Street, PO Box 30241, Lansing, MI 48909-7741.

Revision Date:
July 2019