With Governor Whitmer’s signing in late December 2022 of the historic eight-bill package designed to modernize Michigan’s solid waste law (Part 115, Solid Waste Management, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 452, as amended), this is a monumental time for the state of Michigan.  This amended law and policy approach is the product of 7 years of extensive deliberation in workgroups that included input from a large, diverse group of stakeholders.  This policy framework provides a transition to a new way of managing discarded materials in Michigan rather than just disposing of them, looking at materials management facilities’ capacity for managing these materials, and goal setting to divert recyclable and organic materials from being disposed.  Implementing these changes is a huge undertaking that will require thoughtful, considered, and deliberate changes; updates to existing policies and procedures; development of implementation materials; and education, outreach, and training for EGLE staff, and other internal and external stakeholders.

EGLE’s Materials Management Division (MMD) will lead an implementation process which will create various continuing opportunities for engagement with staff and stakeholders.  Implementation will be done in a manner to provide sufficient time for EGLE and counties, materials management facilities, and other stakeholders to prepare to implement the changes.

MMD will also develop outreach and educational information, trainings, and webinars both for Part 115 as a whole and for each individual program area as needed.  Once a high-level implementation plan is available, EGLE will make it publicly available.  In the interim, subscribe to any of the following MMD topics to stay up to date on the latest EGLE efforts:

  • Recycling Updates
  • Materials Management News and Info
  • Solid Waste Law Amendments
  • Materials Management Planning

It should also be noted that in 2018, legislative approval was obtained for Renew Michigan funding.  This fund provides $15 million specifically made available for grants and support for county planning resulting from these changes.  Counties will soon be funded and incentivized to plan for needed materials management infrastructure, programs, and services to manage materials more productively through reduction, recycling, composting, and other innovative approaches.  With this funding secured and an updated policy framework finally in place, Michigan can begin to develop a circular economy to benefit Michigan’s environment, residents, and businesses.

For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/solidwaste.