- Republic Services has proposed an expansion of the Ottawa County Farms Landfill in Polkton Township, MI that would more than double its capacity, according to MLive.
- The site's current capacity is 27 million cubic feet and the company estimates that will fill up within the next seven years. The proposed expansion would add an additional 33 million cubic feet for disposal and keep the site open for about 60 years.
- The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held a public hearing on Aug. 3 and only two people showed up. One of them was Polkton Township's supervisor. Residents have until Aug. 15 to submit comments via DEQ's website.
The lack of public opinion on an expansion of this size — an additional 50 acres and 70 feet in height — is uncommon. Polkton Township does benefit financially from hosting the site. In 2015, tipping fees accounted for more than 20% of the township's annual revenues.
A DEQ engineer told MLive that the state is more likely to approve the expansion of an existing site that has a good track record than the creation of a new one. Ottawa Farms could also play an important role in the future as other sites in the state begin to near capacity. The landfill currently accepts 90% of its material from three counties, though is permitted to take waste from 25 in total.
If Michigan hopes to reach Governor Rick Snyder's goal of doubling the state recycling rate to 30%, any potential landfill expansion must work in tandem with diversion goals. DEQ recently sought public comment on statewide solid waste laws that haven't been updated since 2007.