Category Archives: Our Efforts

Please consider us this Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is the most generous day of the year! Please consider The Conservancy Initiative as you decide where you donate.

We have had many successes this year.
We have done so much. But there is SO much yet to do!
  • We want to hire a lobbying firm to advocate for us in Lansing. Advanced Disposal has a team of lobbyists attempting to convince legislators they need a new landfill.
  • We want to hire a lawyer to privately enforce violations the MDEQ doesn’t have the inclination or ability to enforce.
  • We want to start a campaign to educate Washtenaw County residents. Most of them have no idea their county hosts a landfill is horribly mismanaged and hurting families.
  • We want to test the water of residents and schools near the landfill.
  • We want to launch programs to reduce solid waste.
The Conservancy Initiative, also known as Stop Arbor Hills, has no employees. We are a volunteer-run organization. We get no grants. We completely rely on you, our generous supporters.
Thank you for considering us as you plan your year-end giving.

Meeting May 30

Join Stop Arbor Hills at 6:30 p.m. on May 30, 2018 at the Northville District Library for an informational meeting. Our board of directors and the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality will offer updates and answer questions.

Meeting challenge

A generous individual has offered to match $1,500 in donations if we can raise that amount before our May 30 meeting.

Thank 100 Women For New Odor Reporting System

100 Women Northville

We  received $13,150 from 100 Women Who Care – Northville  in December 2017. We’re using the funds to build a web-based odor reporting system.

The system will streamline the reporting process, validate the number of reports, the time and severity of the odors. We will own the data so we can use it to build our case against the expansion and the mismanagement of Arbor Hills Landfill.

It’s clear to us that all odor reports are not counted or even taken seriously with the current reporting process. With our web-based system, we hope to build metrics that will compel the EPA to take stronger action regarding the mismanagement of the dump. And, of course, our top priority is to prevent the massive expansion.

We issued an RFP and selected a local tech firm to build the odor complaint system. We don’t have a name for the system yet. Send suggestions to

Dec. 4 fundraiser at BW3

Bring your family. Bring your friends. Bring your wallet!

Be sure to attend The Conservancy Initiative fundraiser from 5-9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4 at Buffalo Wild Wings in Novi.

We get 15% of food purchases for diners who present a ticket from 5-9 p.m. on Dec. 4. This is not just a fundraiser. This is an opportunity for us to spread the word and to build our network of supporters. Please plan to be at BW3 on Dec. 4 for at least an hour or two. Please contact if you can help in any way.

A silent auction will run throughout the event. Donors include: Dancing Eye Gallery, Nassau Grill & Bar, Starring The Gallery, Chili’s, Bagger Dave’s and Yogurt Palooza. We’re still collecting donations. If you own a business or can help collect donations, please contact us right away.

We need help spreading the word! Please print the flyer and distribute at work, school, salons, stores, doctors’ offices and in your neighborhood. Please ask your children to pass them around school, to their sports teams and clubs. Put them on billboards at community centers and libraries and anywhere else you can think of.

We’re winning!

Here's your sign
No more trucks!

Stop Arbor Hills has three primary objectives:

  1. Stop landfill expansion
  2. Reduce odors
  3. Reduce truck traffic

Truck traffic through Northville Twp. has been decreasing for many months but this week we finally got No Truck signs posted on Six Mile and Napier roads. We officially marked this objective complete! Lately the biggest issue has not been garbage trucks but concrete trucks headed to Calo & Sons Trucking on Chubb Road in Salem Twp. It’s not clear yet if they will respect the new signs. Contact Northville Twp. police at 248-349-9400 if you see concrete trucks on 6 Mile or Napier roads in Northville Twp. headed toward Salem Twp.

As for reducing Arbor Hills Landfill odors, we are on our way to achieving that goal as well.  Now that Advanced Disposal owns the entire landfill and its gas collection system, there can be no more finger-pointing between Advanced and Republic Services. The Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality is encouraged and optimistic we will not have more odor outbreaks like we had last year.

We are winning the fight against expansion as well. We can’t share all of the details here but we have a plan. Stop Arbor Hills is represented by an environmental attorney now, which is a game-changer. For the first time since we started, we believe we will obtain this objective.

Just because we’re winning doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. We must remain diligent to Stop Arbor Hills!

Learn more

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Meetings & updates

Stop Arbor Hills had 50 members in attendance at the Nov. 9, 2016 Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee (SWPC) meeting in Ann Arbor. Learn more about the SWPC meetings.

The committee discussed adding language to its solid waste plan update that would exclude any new landfills in the county. With so many members of the committee representing the solid waste industry, that will be difficult to pass. Dave Rettell from Advanced Disposal is on the committee in addition to a representative from Waste Management and Salem Twp. Supervisor Gary Whittaker.

Learn more about the proposed new dump.

Stop Arbor Hills met on Nov. 3 at the Northville library.

Meeting notes:

We had a productive meeting on Nov. 3 with 35 in attendance.

According to Northville Twp. Trustee Fred Shadko, Advanced Disposal said they are hiring an “odor expert” to help mitigate the ongoing odor issues.

Advanced may acquire the gas collection system from Republic Services. Advanced may also acquire the older part of the landfill that Republic owns.  It’s uncertain if or when these transactions will be completed.

Odor reporting

Be sure to also report odors to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Contact Scott Miller at or 1-517-780-7481 during business hours or 1-800-292-4706 after hours. We need to ensure the odors are properly documented with the DEQ. The updated contact information is on our website, including some new CCs to include when you send emails to the DEQ:

Shadko reported that the Northville Twp. Listserv will include landfill updates soon but he didn’t have a date when this will launch.

Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County is nearing the end of its solid waste management plan update. If certain language is included in the plan, Advanced could site a dump in Salem Twp. without seating another solid waste planning committee. We could like to hire a professional to review this plan when it’s done. Contact if you have ideas or resources. The attorney we consulted wants $10,000 to work our case and we don’t have that much in donations yet.

Class action

The class action lawsuit is in the discovery phase of litigation. This will last through December and possibly longer, according to the lead attorney. Since the lawyer assured Stop Arbor Hills they have no interest in helping us stop the expansion, we are no longer going to actively follow this lawsuit.


We need help engaging students and young people to help fight the dump. Students could help us research the environmental and health effects of landfills generally and this one specifically. They could learn how to write and file a Freedom of Information Act request. They could learn how to write and submit a press release or letter to the editor. They could pass out flyers, attend municipal meetings, start a social media campaign, write and perform a song or play, shoot and edit videos, participate in a coloring contest. What ideas do you have? Ask your children how they can help – their ideas likely will be better than ours. We need so much help and most of us are eager to teach others how to help.

We need volunteers to pass out flyers on election day. We could use help all day but we have specific openings in the time slots from 5-7 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. We are handing flyers to voters after they leave Ridge Wood Elementary. This is an excellent opportunity to educate our neighbors. The majority of our community still doesn’t know anything about the new dump. Contact Debbie Brown at if you can help.

Learn more

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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

What we are about

This site contains information regarding the Arbor Hills Landfill in Salem Township, MI.  We have a grassroots movement seeking to eliminate the sources of odor in Salem Township and the surrounding communities.

Our first target is stop the proposed 240-acre expansion of the Arbor Hills Landfill.  We are trying to stop the expansion that will increase the capacity of the landfill and extend its operations.  We believe the landfill is a major source of odor affecting eastern Washtenaw and western Wayne counties.

Contact us at