Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Announces Proposal to Improve Environment, Boost Recycling

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder today announced a proposal to invest $79 million annually to help renew Michigan’s environment and protect public health. The proposal serves as a replacement to the expired Clean Michigan Initiative Bond, which cleaned thousands of contaminated sites. Several thousand more contaminated sites still exist statewide.

“Michiganders deserve a smart and safe plan to ensure the protection of our environment and public health — today, tomorrow, and for generations to come,” says Snyder. “This proposal implements a comprehensive approach to cleaning up contaminated sites while addressing best practices for managing waste and recycling efforts, taking us another step forward in our work to build a stronger environmental foundation for Michigan’s future.”

Snyder’s proposal puts forth a plan to address Michigan’s critical environmental needs for brownfield site clean-up, waste management, and recycling. Currently, Michigan only recycles 15 percent of its waste — one of the lowest recycling rates in the nation. Michigan also has the lowest fee for disposing of waste in landfills in the Great Lakes basin, which has resulted in 17 million tons of trash being disposed of annually in our state. Further, 25.5 percent of waste disposed in Michigan comes from other states and Canada.

To reduce waste in Michigan landfills, Snyder is proposing an increase to the current landfill dumping fee from $0.36 per ton to $4.75 per ton. The increase would generate $79 million annually to fund critical environmental protection needs while enhancing Michigan’s recycling efforts and waste management planning initiatives. Other Midwest states charge as much as $13.00/ton.

The cost of Snyder’s proposal would be, on average, $4.75 per household annually. Revenue generated from the fee would bolster critical environmental protection programs, including:

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  • Remediate and Redevelop Existing and Future Contaminated Sites ($45 million)

-Clean up 300 sites annually, across all 83 counties

-Address emerging contaminants (PFAS, vapor intrusion)

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  • Solid Waste Management ($9 million)

-Enhance solid waste planning for local governments.

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  • Recycling Grants to triple Michigan’s Recycling Rate ($15 million)

-Provide recycling grants to local entities for recycling infrastructure, market development and education

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  • Water Quality Monitoring Grants ($5 million) 

-Monitor beaches to keep them clean.

-Reduce phosphorus in Lake Erie.

-Remove contamination in rivers, lakes and streams.

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  • State Park Infrastructure ($5 million)

-Address critical infrastructure needs to serve the parks system’s 27 million visitors annually.

Click here to view an infographic explaining the Renew Michigan’s Environment proposal.

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