Governor Rick Snyder wants to increase the cost of dumping waste in the state’s landfills. This is part of the governor’s proposal to improve Michigan’s environment.
Snyder proposal calls for a hike in the current landfill dumping fee from 36 cents per ton to $4.75 per ton.
“One of the things that Michigan is a great value at, that we’re one of the most attractive places in the world, is to dump your trash,” Snyder said during a speech announcing the plan. “That’s not a contest I’m aspiring to win.”
Snyder said the state needs to clean up its thousands of contaminated sites, and the estimated $79 million a year the state could make from the fee increase would go towards strengthening important environmental protection programs.
“We’ve run out of resources, or we will be running out of resources to continue that path,” he told reporters. “This is a smart investment.”
In a statement, Snyder gave the following breakdown for how the revenue would be used:
- 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)
- Solid Waste Management ($9 million)
- Enhance solid waste planning for local governments.
- Recycling Grants to triple Michigan’s Recycling Rate ($15 million)
- Provide recycling grants to local entities for recycling infrastructure, market development and education.
- Water Quality Monitoring Grants ($5 million)
- Monitor beaches to keep them clean.
- Reduce phosphorus in Lake Erie.
- Remove contamination in rivers, lakes and streams.
- State Park Infrastructure ($5 million)
- Address critical infrastructure needs to serve the parks system’s 27 million visitors annually.
But Snyder may have an uphill battle. The plan has to be approved by the Republican controlled Legislature. Republicans have historically been against a dumping fee increase.
“I hope people step back and look at it,” Snyder told reporters. “I don’t think this is the same old thing. I think we learn lessons from the past.”