House measure would lift ban on yard waste in landfills

Mar 16, 2012

The state House has approved a controversial measure that would end a ban on depositing yard waste in landfills.

There was a fierce debate on how to handle yard waste and whether to lift a 17-year-old ban on leaves and grass clippings in landfills. Some landfills want to take yard waste and use it to generate methane gas. The gas could be used by utilities to hit mandatory renewable energy targets.

Critics say that’s the wrong approach because methane gas is a fossil fuel. 

State Representative Amanda Price says landfilling waste does not encourage recycling, "and will hurt the many entrepreneurs in this state who have and are investing millions of dollars into our economy.”

Price says Michigan has 115 composting operations that would be squeezed if yard waste became less available. The legislation must still be adopted by the state Senate.