Title: [GreenYes] Michigan bill could repeal landfill ban on yard waste
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February 1, 2008 The Alpena News
Senate bill could affect how landfills handle yard waste
Recently legislative activity in the Michigan Senate could affect the way
yard clippings are dealt with.
In November, Senate Bill 864 was introduced. If passed, the bill would allow
landfills to accept yard clippings if methane gas is collected in the area
the clippings are dumped.
The amount of gas recovered would also have to be reported to the state.
Landfills that follow these requirements would be called landfill energy
Before the Department of Environmental Quality makes takes any stance on the
bill, they would like clarification on the impact of the bill, DEQ spokesman
Robert McCann said.
The bill would essentially repeal the Yard Waste Ban act of 1990, which
banned yard clippings from landfills and promoted composting.
McCann said he wasn't aware of any landfills in Northern Michigan that
currently collect methane.
Sandy Cunningham, Montmorency-Oscoda-Alpena Solid Waste Management Authority
administrator, said the legislation wouldn't affect the landfill in Atlanta.
"We don't do any methane gas collection here so we would not be able to take
yard clippings," she said.
The landfill's methane levels are checked monthly by the DEQ, but have
always been recorded at 0 percent, Cunningham said.
She said methane collection would only be done in Atlanta if it was required
by the state or if energy could efficiently be made from the emissions.
"As we are today we have no plans at all to pursue that," she said.
At the end of 2007, a bill was signed by Governor Jennifer Granholm
requiring composting facilities to register with the state and pay a $600
registration fee every three years.
DEQ composting coordinator Matt Flechter said the bill will help prevent
landowners from charging to take yard clippings and not properly composting
them. This can result in water contamination.
Once the properties are registered they will be inspected by the DEQ every
Flechter said landowners will not be charged a registration fee for
composting their own yard clippings.