Michigan’s recent overhaul of solid waste laws includes a focus on organics recycling, also known as composting. Turning food scraps and other organic waste into nutrient-rich soil is a key part of lawmakers’ goal to boost statewide recycling rates and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. State environmental officials also gained new regulatory controls over composting facilities when a bipartisan bill package about waste materials management passed during lame duck session in December and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the legislation into law.
Now as all Michigan counties prepare to study their own waste streams under the new laws, communities such as Ferndale and Emmet County are already knee deep in successful composting programs that can now serve as models for others. “We’ve got a great community here in Ferndale with a lot of people that are looking to be more sustainable at home and make those choices to be able to impact the environment in a positive way,” said Claire Dion, the city’s zero waste program coordinator.