Category Archives: Arbor Hills Landfill

Advanced Disposal harassing residents again

Message from Northville resident intimidated by Advanced Disposal employees

Stop Arbor Hills received the message above on Aug. 21, 2018. Advanced Disposal Services has a long history of harassing and intimidating residents who complain around their landfills and composting operations. Advanced Disposal employees at Arbor Hills Landfill in Washtenaw County have been visiting and harassing residents for over 2 years now. They come calling late at night and throughout the day.

Many residents have explained to us how intimidated, attacked, and harassed they felt. Sadly, these tactics are effective. They visited a young Northville mom with small children while her husband was away. She said she will never report another odor out of fear of their return. Please share your story with us if the dump people have come to your home and made you uncomfortable. Email us at

As for the question above regarding the cancellation of recess at Ridge Wood Elementary in Northville, this is a semantic game. The school cuts recess short and sometimes they have the students stay inside but they don’t cancel recess outright that we’re aware of. Children are denied the ability to play outside and they’re denied the ventilation system on bad odor days. These issues are outlined in the school board’s resolution they signed on Aug. 16, 2016. Read the resolution

Gas system update

The email below was sent by Larry Bean from the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality on Aug. 6, 2018:

Last week Advanced Disposal had to shut down the gas collection system at the Arbor Hills Landfill for a couple days to complete the connection of the new pipe infrastructure to the gas plant.  This resulted in an increase of odor detections at that time.  On Thursday the new gas collection system was turned on resulting in a much greater ability to collect gas from the landfill.  It is now pulling more gas out of the landfill than in the past.  The system is functioning to draw the excess gas out of the landfill.  Over the next month, the blowers which pull gas to the flares will be upgraded.  This will help to maintain a proper vacuum in the landfill when the gas plant is shut down.  Over the next couple months the individual gas collection wells on the landfill will be adjusted to tune the system for maximum efficiency of gas collection throughout the landfill.  We expect a significant reduction of odors as a result of this work.

The note below was sent out last Monday by Advanced Disposal notifying all stakeholders that a temporary shut down was needed to complete the work.  You can monitor the work progress and any notices by the facility at the links in the note below.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Note from Bill Tennant on Monday July 30.


We are going to have two system shutdowns at Arbor Hills Landfill for construction and header tie ins this week.

The first tie in will be today at noon and will last until about 17:00.

The next tie in will be tomorrow morning at 08:00 and will last until about 14:00.

The plant and main flares will be down during these tie ins.  The North temp flare will be increased to maximum flow.  There may be some odors related to these system shutdowns.  We are putting alerts on our website as well.

On Wednesday at 08:00 we are going to test the new header and anticipate having full vacuum restored to the north half of the landfill!  This will allow us to put the temp flare in standby mode and send all the gas to the plant.

Please call myself or Anthony if you have any questions.

Bill Tennant | Landfill Gas Program Manager, East Region
10833 West Five Mile Road – Building B | Northville | MI
M: 757.585.8039 | E:

Larry Bean
Jackson and Lansing District Supervisor
Waste Management and Radiological Protection Division
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Phone 517-416-4375

MDEQ approves permanent flare

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has approved the permit to install a permanent flare at Advanced Disposal Services Arbor Hills Landfill, Inc. located at 10690 West Six Mile Road in Salem Township, Mich. The MDEQ announced the approval on April 13, 2018.

The permit approves one 5,000 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) open utility flare to provide additional back-up landfill gas control capacity and operational flexibility. The temporary flare the dump installed this year will be taken offline after the permanent flare is running.

The MDEQ may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, revoke the permit to Install if evidence indicates the process or process equipment is not performing according to the terms and conditions of the permit or is violating the MDEQ’s rules or the Clean Air Act.

According to the permit certificate: “Operation of this equipment shall not result in the emission of an air contaminant which causes injurious effects to human health or safety, animal life, plant life of significant economic value, or property, or which causes unreasonable interference with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property. ”

Arbor Hills Landfill must provide notice to the MDEQ of an abnormal condition, start-up, shutdown, or malfunction that results in emissions of a hazardous or toxic air pollutant which continue for more than one hour in excess of any applicable standard or limitation, or emissions of any air contaminant continuing for more than two hours in excess of an applicable standard or limitation, as required in Rule 912.


Violation response

Advanced Disposal Services, owner of Arbor Hills Landfill, denies responsibility for the 901 air quality violation issued on Feb. 6, 2018 by the Michigan Dept. Of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

View the violation response

In its response to the violation, Advanced Disposal Services blames the proximity of homes to the landfill.

“Given the proximity of the homes to the landfill and the nature of Arbor Hills’ business, it would not be unexpected if occasional odors drift off-site.  But these odors, incidental to even the best run landfills, do not constitute a violation of Rule 901(b).”

Advanced Disposal adds:

“It cannot be ignored that when landfill operations began at Arbor Hills, the area was largely rural and sparsely populated. Arbor Hills cannot be held to unachievable standards because developers have decided to build densely-spaced, upscale residential homes increasingly closer — and immediately downwind — of the landfill.”

Moreover, the fact that housing developments, despite the proximity of the landfill, continue to be built at increasing price points is empirical evidence that Arbor Hills is not creating odors that result in an ‘unreasonable interference with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property’ within the neighboring communities.”


EPA consent order

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued Arbor Hills Landfill a consent order on May 4, 2017. View the order
Our attorney offered the comments below.

  • Background: In general, odor from landfills is caused by the decomposition of buried, organic material, such as food. When decomposition of this type of material occurs, it creates gases with specific, odor-causing chemicals such as sulfides and ammonia.
  • Odor control at Arbor Hills Landfill: Arbor Hills operates 300 gas wells that collect landfill gas and sends it to one of two control systems. Some landfill gas is sent to a gas-to-energy plant that consists of 4 turbines that are used to generate electricity. The gas-to-energy plant is the primary control device for landfill gases. Any additional landfill gas is sent to one of 3 flares.
  • Compliance plan: Arbor Hills Landfill, as part of the consent order, has agreed to perform work to improve its landfill gas collection system according to a compliance plan. Specifically, the compliance plan requires Arbor Hills Landfill to do the following:
    • Add a flare to burn off any odor-causing chemicals from landfill gas that is released.
    • Improve system to control condensation from landfill gases.
    • Install a special type of well (referred to as a caisson well) to collect landfill gases in active landfill areas.
    • Accelerate the installation of final cover on some areas of the landfill.
    • Conduct studies of related to landfill gas.
  • Revisions to plan: The consent order provides that the compliance plan may need to be updated to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act. It’s important to note that the consent order allows the EPA to revise the compliance plan to ensure that Arbor Hills Landfill will operate in compliance with the Clean Air Act. Under the existing schedule for the compliance plan, Arbor Hills Landfill will continue to perform work to improve its landfill gas systems through the end of 2017.

Fire At Arbor Hills!


There was a massive fire at the Arbor Hills Landfill campus in Salem Twp. on Sunday, Nov.  20. The Great Lakes Recycling Center building burned to the ground.  Fire departments spotted included Augusta Twp., Northville, Canton Twp., Northfield Twp., Scio Twp., Ann Arbor, Lyon Twp., South Lyon, Lyon Twp., Dexter, Pittsfield Twp. and Salem Twp.

Northville Record story — Nov. 21, 2016

Update 8:30 a.m. Nov. 21 from Larry Bean, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:

“I was called out to the fire last night at the Great Lakes Recycling Center.  Most of the material that burned was cardboard but there was some plastic automotive scrap and polyurethane automotive seating scrap in bails for recycling.  We were not aware that they started to take the plastic and polyurethane.  The fire department hazmat team tested the smoke and determined there were no contaminants that would affect residents off site.  When I left at 1 AM the fire department was pulling back the collapsed roof to expose hot spots and putting those out as they moved the roof.  The material may smolder for most of today.  I will go back out later this morning. ”

News coverage

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Meeting with Arbor Hills Landfill

Please see below the invitation sent from Advanced Disposal to Northville Township Supervisor Bob Nix. View the meeting flyer.

Dear neighbors,

 We look forward to seeing you at the neighborhood meeting Oct. 24, at the Inn at St. Johns’ Judea Ballroom (on the main level).

 You are welcome to join us starting at 6 p.m. We will start the meeting at 6:30. Recognizing the hour, snacks and beverages will be available.

 This is the first of several neighborhood meetings we anticipate in the coming months. We welcome your questions, comments and concerns, and we want you to know that we take them – and you – seriously.

 Several Arbor Hills staff will be on-hand for this meeting. We recently hired some key new positions and these people are all committed to making Arbor Hills a site that better fits with the surrounding communities. Like me, they are new to Arbor Hills, and I’ve asked them to attend this meeting so they can hear your concerns directly. Going forward, my team and I are committed to being available to you and responsive to your issues.

 If anyone would like to contact me prior to the meeting, I can reached at or 248-504-2524.

 Again, looking forward to beginning this conversation.


 Kelly C. Rooney | District Manager
Advanced Disposal

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Stop Arbor Hills Survey

Stop Arbor Hills has designed a survey to determine how Arbor Hills Landfill affects residents who live near the dump. We also want to know if you’re opposed to the proposed new dump on the north side of 6 Mile Road near Napier Road.

We will share relevant information with elected officials and Advanced Disposal, owner of Arbor Hills Landfill. Advanced is hosting a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 at The Inn at St. Johns’ Judea Ballroom (on the main level) in Plymouth. They want to hear about our concerns. We will present Advanced with relevant information from our survey.

Please be honest and forthcoming with your responses. You will have the opportunity to provide your name and contact information at the end of the survey so we can contact you with informational updates in the future.

Take the survey

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Stop Arbor Hills updates

View the Aug. 10 solid waste planning meeting, Public comment is at the beginning and end. Northville Township presented at the beginning and Northville School Board Treasurer Matt Wilk presented just after the two-hour mark. Link to most of Matt’s presentation:

How you can help

For more information, contact Stop Arbor Hills at 734-277-2185 or

Court battle ensues over who’s responsible for landfill odor

SALEM TOWNSHIP — Something stinks around the Arbor Hills Landfill, but no one “nose” who’s responsible for controlling the smell.

Neighbors near the landfill have been complaining about the smell coming from the site, but the two companies involved in controlling the property and the gas collection system are at odds over who should be held accountable for the odor.

Advanced Disposal, the Florida-based company that owns the Arbor Hills Landfill at 10690 Six Mile Road filed a motion last week against Phoenix-based Republic Services asking Republic to comply with a judgment issued in February by the Washtenaw County Circuit.

An arbitration court ruled in December that Advanced was not responsible for gas collection and control system, which is owned by Republic.

“Our number one priority has been to address the landfill gas odors impacting our neighbors around the landfill. All other alternatives to force Republic Services to comply with their contractual obligations have been unsuccessful,” said Dave Lavender, east region vice president of Advanced in a press release.

Lavender went on to say that his company has been working with the state and local municipalities to resolve the issue.

In its motion, Advanced asked the court to enter a court order that would set specific actions and dates by which they must be achieved that would require Republic to control the gas and the odors.

Russ Knocke, a spokesman for Allied/BFI (a division of Republic) says the company is prepared to fight claims that their system is to blame for the smell.

“The court will also be informed, as can be seen from the Motion itself, there is nothing in Advanced’s Motion or elsewhere establishing a link between the odors noticed by the facility’s neighbors and the gas collection and control system owned by Allied and BFI,” Knocke said in a statement.

He went on to say that Advanced is required by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to maintain the landfill properly in order to prevent the odors being released. None of those operations are the responsibility of Republic, Knocke said.

Republic says it first learned about the odors in January and began working to determine their systems were not to blame for the smell. The company also accelerated scheduled work on the systems where wells were replaced or improved ahead of schedule, Knocke said.

“The undisputable truth is that no one—not Allied, BFI, Advanced or the MDEQ—knows yet what caused the odors, or if there were multiple causes of some or all of the odors,” Knocke said.

Read the story

Washtenaw Solid Waste Planning Meetings

If you are interested in making your voice heard regarding the Arbor Hills Landfill expansion, plan to attend the next Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. on April 13 at 705 Zeeb Rd, Ann Arbor. Review the meeting packet.

The committee opens the floor to public comment at the beginning and the end of every meeting.  Carpools are available. Contact if you need a ride or want more information.

Learn more about the expansion process.

This committee has the authority to include the new Arbor Hills Landfill in the Washtenaw County solid waste management plan. We need to convince them not to include the expansion in their plan.

Ask your friends and neighbors to attend this meeting.

The Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee  was formed to update the county’s solid waste plan specifically in response to  Advanced Disposal’s request to expand Arbor Hills Landfill.

The May 11 meeting will be hosted at Salem Township Hall, 9600 Six Mile Road. Please plan to attend this meeting as well.

Update from Gov. Snyder’s office

Thank you for your March 2, 2016, e-mail to Governor Rick Snyder regarding odor issues from the Advanced Disposal Services Arbor Hills Landfill, Inc. in Salem, Michigan and a proposed expansion of that facility. Governor Snyder has referred your e-mail to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for response.

Since Scott Miller of the DEQ Air Quality Division has already provided information to you regarding the odor issues at Advanced Disposal Services Arbor Hills Landfill, Inc., I will address your concern over the proposed expansion.

Advanced Disposal Services Arbor Hills Landfill, Inc. has not applied for an expansion permit with the DEQ. The company has started preliminary discussions with Salem Township and Washtenaw County regarding a proposal to expand the landfill operation north of Six Mile Road in the area currently used for composting operations. These discussions are between the landfill company, the host community, and the county.

The landfill is regulated by the DEQ pursuant to Part 115, Solid Waste Management, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. Under Part 115, each county must develop a Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP). Any proposed landfill expansion must first be determined to be consistent with the SWMP prior to an application being made to the DEQ.

Washtenaw County is currently in the process of amending its entire SWMP as well as to allow for an expansion at Advanced Disposal Services Arbor Hills Landfill, Inc. The process for amending the SWMP does include an opportunity for public input. You may contact Mr. Jeffrey Krcmarik, Washtenaw County’s Designated Planning Agency contact for the amendment at 734-222-6865 or to request to be added in the Solid Waste Management Planning Committee (SWMPC) notifications throughout the process. The SWMP approval process allows for public input during each of the SWMPC meetings, 90-day public comment, and public hearing, Board of Commissioners approval meeting, during the 67 percent municipal approval process and during the final DEQ approval.

Once Washtenaw County amends their SWMP to include this landfill expansion then the facility would be able to apply for a construction permit with the DEQ. At that time the DEQ will offer a public meeting and or public hearing to answer questions and address public concerns before a decision is made on permitting the landfill expansion.

We appreciate you bringing your concerns to our attention. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Mr. Lawrence Bean at 517-416-4375, or e-mail, or you may contact me.

Steve Sliver, Acting Office Chief
Office of Waste Management and Radiological Protection

Advanced, Republic violation response

The Feb. 2, 2016 violation the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued to Advanced Disposal and Republic Services asked for a response by Feb. 15, 2016. A Freedom of Information Act request returned the three documents below.