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Washtenaw County Solid Waste Management Plan 2015-17 Amendment

Washtenaw County is currently in the process of amending its Solid Waste Management Plan. This page will contain key information on this process.


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 current approved Washtenaw County Solid Waste Management Plan was developed in 1999. The state has not required a plan update since then. A county can initiate a plan amendment for any reason. In our case, Advanced Disposal made a request in 2015 to open the plan for amendment as a first step towards pursuing an expansion at their current landfill site - Arbor Hills in Salem Township. On August 29, 2016, Advanced Disposal suspended their request to expand the landfill. See the letter and press release from Advanced Disposal detailing this decision.

The Solid Waste Planning Committee continued with the Amendment process. The landscape of waste and recycling has changed dramatically since the current plan was passed in 1999, and the Committee wanted to use this opportunity to update our priorities and goals. As a leader within the state, our plan should reflect the waste diversion and recycling mindset that is prevalent in our community.

Draft Washtenaw County Solid Waste Plan Amendment

The official public comment period for the draft Washtenaw County Solid Waste Plan began Friday April 21, 2017 and concluded on October 18, 2017.

The amended Washtenaw County Solid Waste Management Plan as approved by the Solid Waste Planning Committee and Washtenaw County Board of Public Works can be found here. 

Executive Summary 

2017 Washtenaw County Solid Waste Plan Amendment

Solid Waste Management Planning Committee

The plan amendment is developed by a 14 member Solid Waste Management Planning Committee. The Committee consists of the following members, as required by the state: 4 represent the solid waste management industry; 2 represent environmental interest groups; 1 represents county government; 1represents city government; 1 represents township government; 1 represents the regional solid waste planning agency; 1 represents industrial waste generators; and 3 represent the general public.

Each month, the Committee meets to develop the plan. The first steps are to collect data and information about current activities and infrastructure in the county. Then, the data is reviewed and analyzed to understand where strengths and weaknesses exist within the system. The committee will also set priorities and goals related to waste diversion and reduction.

Committee Meetings (date, time, location, agenda & minutes)

Committee Members

Committee Bylaws

Plan Approval Process

Once the plan has been developed and approved by the Solid Waste Management Planning Committee, it will then enter into the approval process. The first step in approval is to make the draft amended plan available for public review for at least 90 days with a public hearing. The next step is for the Committee to recommend the draft plan amendment to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners (BOC). Once approved by the BOC, the draft amendment will be shared and presented to all municipalities within the county. The plan is required to receive approval from 67% of municipalities. If this approval is received, the draft amended plan is submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for approval.


Over the summer of 2016, we asked residents to complete a survey to gauge current and future solid waste, recycling, composting, reuse and reduction needs. Thank you to those who took the time to provide feedback!


Arbor Hills Answers:
New website with current information about the Arbor Hills landfill, as well as an online form to report odor, traffic and other nuisance complaints    

DRAFT Washtenaw County Solid Waste Plan Amendment (dated April 21, 2017)

Current Washtenaw County Solid Waste Management Plan (approved April 15, 2000)

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Guidance Document

PowerPoint Presentation Outlining the Solid Waste Amendment Process

PowerPoint Presentation - April 2016 Solid Waste Planning Committee Meeting

Project Timeline - updated September 2016

Arbor Hills Landfill Odor Complaints and Investigation - Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Solid Waste Plan Timeline and Siting

Green Room Video on Ann Arbor's CTN: Bryan Weinert, Recycle Ann Arbor, and Jim Frey, Resource Recycling Systems, discuss Washtenaw County’s Solid Waste Management Plan and how it helps us to throw away less.

June 2017 Public Notice of Proposed Permit Modification to Arbor Hills Landfill: Permit modification for changes to the liner system of the landfill; permit is not for an expansion.

July 20, 2017 Public Notice Extending Comment Period for the Amended Solid Waste Plan: The comment period will end September 18, 2017.


For questions about the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Management Plan and/or the Amendment process, please contact Jeff Krcmarik at (734) 222-6865.


SWMP Infographic

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