Category Archives: Solid Waste Planning Committee

MDEQ Speaks at final Solid Waste Mtg In Ann Arbor

There weren’t many members of Stop Arbor Hills or the committee at the final Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee meeting on July 19, 2017. Larry Bean from the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality basically said it was a training issue that has been preventing the MDEQ from accepting odor reports regarding Arbor Hills Landfill. He said they will accept them again and ensure everyone on staff understands the proper protocol.

Bean blamed recent odor issues on DTE taking its power plant offline. He didn’t explain why the odors were so bad before and after the shut down.  A member of Stop Arbor Hills asked Bean why there have been ongoing odor issues for nearly two years.

“Either they’re incompetent or they’re lying to us,” Joe Beiser said.

“It was both with Republic, but now we have Advanced trying to catch up. So we have to give them a chance and let’s see what they can do,” Bean replied.

According to the Arbor Hills Landfill website,  “As of February 3, 2017, Advanced Disposal agreed to take over the gas collection system from Republic for the purpose of managing the landfill operations in a way that is more consistent with Advanced Disposal’s operations and company values. Advanced Disposal has since been working directly with Foristar (Methane Group) to collect and direct the landfill gas for the purpose of energy generation.”

Larry Bean discussed Advanced Disposal’s request to modify its existing construction permit.  Public notice of application to modify existing solid waste construction permit (PDF)

Our video recorder quit a short time after the meeting started but we have most of the remainder on audio. Listen

Sadly, we didn’t capture public comments from Stop Arbor Hills or the statement by Washtenaw County that they are extending the public comment period to Sept. 18, 2017 because they are negotiating their community host agreement with Advanced Disposal. This is a big deal.  We don’t know what terms or changes will be included in this agreement. We heard months ago that Salem Twp. was renegotiating their host agreement as well. We submitted a FOIA request to Washtenaw County on July 20. We’ll post an update when we have that information.

Last Wash Co Solid Waste Mtg July 19

Wednesday, July 19 is your last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee. Learn more

If you do not want a new or expanded landfill in Salem Township, now is your chance to ensure Washtenaw County hears and documents your concerns. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District office at 1735 Wagner Road, Ann Arbor 48103. Contact for more details or to carpool.

Advanced Disposal requested a modification to its existing solid waste construction permit with the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on the heels of a May 4, 2017 consent order from the EPA for violating the Clean Air Act in addition to several MDEQ violations.

Washtenaw County’s Solid Waste Plan Draft

Washtenaw County released its Solid Waste Plan Amendment for public comment on April 21, 2017. View the draft

The official public comment period for the draft Washtenaw County Solid Waste Plan began on April 21, 2017 and continues for at least 90 days. Submit comments to:

If you have any questions or comments, submit them in writing to Washtenaw County via email at  The county requests that submitted comments include the  commenter’s name and address for the record.  Comments submitted during the 90‐day public  comment period will be included in the final version of the plan document in Appendix C before submitting to the state.

According to Washtenaw County’s website: “Every county in the state of Michigan is required to have an approved Solid Waste Management Plan. The main purpose of a plan is to make sure we have adequate disposal capacity for any waste generated within the county; to set goals for waste reduction and recycling; and to protect public health.

“The landscape of waste and recycling has changed dramatically since the current plan was passed in 1999. As a leader within the state, our plan should reflect the waste diversion and recycling mindset that is prevalent in our community.”

The Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee has been working since 2015 to develop an amended plan.

To facilitate the public comment period, there will be two informational meetings and one public hearing scheduled. Washtenaw County invites participation and/or written comments on the draft plan from any person having an interest in the future of solid waste and recycling for Washtenaw County.

Informational meetings & public hearing:

  • Information meeting
    Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 6 p.m.

    Salem Township Hall
    9600 Six Mile Rd.
    Salem, MI 48175
  • Informational meeting
    Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 3 p.m.

    Chelsea District Library
    221 S. Main Street
    Chelsea, MI 48118
  • Public hearing
    Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 6 p.m.
    Washtenaw Intermediate School District
    1735 Wagner Road
    Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Washtenaw Co. says no new or expanded landfill

Washtenaw County announced on Feb. 8 that it will not include a new or expanded landfill in its solid waste plan update. Watch video clip above.

“Although I know that the conversations and terminology of the committee and its consultant can sometimes be confusing and troubling if misunderstood, please be assured that the current draft of the updated Solid Waste Management Plan for Washtenaw County does NOT allow for the expansion of an existing landfill OR construction of a new landfill within our county. Period,” said Bryan Weinert, chair of the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Management Planning Committee.

This committee was tasked with updating Washtenaw County’s solid waste plan that is about 20 years old. Part of that process includes identifying what types of solid waste disposal facilities are allowed in the county, including landfills.

The committee has confirmed they will have a draft plan prepared following their March 8 meeting. The solid waste planning process has taken more than a year so far and it still needs to go through a 90-day public comment period, community and board of commission approvals before it can be presented to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for final review and approval.

About 40 Northville and Salem township residents attended the Feb. 8 meeting, along with many children. Read the letter and SWOT analysis written Tanvi Doshi, a Northville High School freshman.  Her mom read an excerpt and presented it to the committee.

Watch the full meeting video. Public comment is at the beginning and end.


Feb. 8 Landfill Mtg

Be sure to attend the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 at 827 N. Zeeb Road in Ann Arbor.


This committee will decide whether to include a new or expanded landfill in Salem Twp. in the Washtenaw County solid waste plan update.

The committee has confirmed they will have a draft plan prepared following the March 8 meeting.

Our strategy for the Feb. 8 meeting is to force the committee to look into the faces of the children who are being hurt by the existing landfill and who will be hurt by a new landfill.

We want to pack the room with children of all ages. We want children and their parents to speak but they don’t have to. Ideally, the younger children will color pictures of the dump and write, in their words, how it makes them feel when they can’t play outside or walk their dog. Older kids can write papers or short speeches detailing how the dump impacts their lives and how it adds stress to their family. We can make copies and distribute them to the committee.

Wear red to show solidarity.

Ask your children for ideas – they will likely think of something brilliant we haven’t considered yet. Every person at the meeting is granted 3 minutes to present to the committee. They let us go longer when we need to. You can use this 3 minutes any way you want. We have presented PowerPoints, we have shared maps, we have read comments from our petition, we have read violation notices, we have read resolutions. Do something innovative or don’t do anything at all. Except go. We need you.

It is a logistical challenge to bring your children to a public meeting, especially one in Ann Arbor, but it will be worth it. Arrive at 5:30, speak at the beginning and leave if and when you need to. This is an issue that will affect literally generations of area children and families. What if this community had done what we’re doing now in 2009? The massive vertical expansion that has made Arbor Hills Landfill one of the largest in the Great Lakes region never would have been approved by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the landfill would be nearing its closure date.

We can’t blame Washtenaw County and the waste management companies for not having a conscience, for polluting and hurting us, if we’re not willing to stand up and fight for our habitat, for the air we breathe.

Ann Arbor Meeting

If you do not want a second dump in your back yard, please attend the Dec. 14 Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee (SWPC) meeting at 5:30 p.m. at Scio Township Hall, 827 N Zeeb Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

This committee has the authority to either include or exclude a new or expanded dump in Salem Twp. The Stop Arbor Hills team has been attending these meetings since February. The committee is close to making its final decision. This will be the last meeting of the year, so please plan to attend to make your voice heard. You do not need to speak but you can. Don’t worry if you are late. Many people come in long after the meeting has started and it is no problem.

On February 9, 2015 Advanced Disposal requested an amendment to the county solid waste plan to increase its footprint. Advanced suspended its request on Aug. 29, 2016 but Washtenaw County is still updating its solid waste plan. This plan can include language that would allow Advanced Disposal – owner of Arbor Hills Landfill in Salem Twp. – to site a new landfill without seating a new Solid Waste Planning Committee. Our goal is to prevent them from doing that.

During a public meeting on Oct. 24, 2016, Kelly Rooney, regional manager of Advanced Disposal, assured local residents that Advanced will expand but she would not disclose timing.

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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Solid Waste Mtg July 13

If you are interested in making your voice heard regarding the new landfill in Salem Township, attend the July 13 Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee meeting.

Meeting location is at the Washtenaw County Western Service Center, 705 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48107 in the Michigan State Extension Classroom (basement room). View the agenda.

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. Sign our petition to stop the new landfill.

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. Arbor Hills has received many violations from the Department of Environmental Quality for polluting air and water. Review the Republic Services response to the latest violation that includes photos of Arbor Hills Landfill leaking leachate into ground water, landfill fires and other shocking information.

View the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Management Planning page. The committee opens the floor to public comment at the end of every meeting.  Carpools are available. Contact if you need a ride or want more information.

Learn more about the expansion process.

Solid Waste Planning Mtg


At the May 11 meeting, the committee chair confirmed that Arbor Hills needs eight votes from the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee to approve its landfill expansion.

Advanced Disposal gets one vote, Waste Management gets one vote and the Salem Twp. supervisor gets one vote, as do representatives from Washtenaw County’s recycling programs. Washtenaw County and Salem Township receive millions of dollars from Arbor Hills. Washtenaw pays for its recycling program with money from the landfill.

Two of three general public seats on the committee are vacant.

Learn more about the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Planning Committee.