Township on board with county waste plan

FLINT TWP. — Establishing more recycling programs in apartment complexes is one goal of reducing solid waste disposal levels in Genesee County.

That idea is included in the Genesee County Solid Waste Management Plan for the next 10 years or more, approved last month by the Flint Township Board.

As required by law, the Genesee County Planning Commission is seeking approval from all governments in Genesee County for amendments to the Solid Waste Plan to be submitted to the state.

The county Board of Commissioners approved in May the amended plan which updates important solid waste generation and disposal information and sets a goal to reduce the overall volume by about 15 percent by using methods including recycling, composting and proper disposal of household hazardous waste. Research is also proposed on implementing a Material Recycling Facility.

A key focus on the plan highlights increasing the recycling participation rate in Genesee County. It specifically points out the lack of participation by multi-family units. Flint Township has numerous apartment complexes, hotels and group living facilities. It is not known if they participate in the township’s recycling program.

Virtually none of the multi-unit housing countywide offers a recycling progran to residents, according to the Plan. Instead, each development contracts with a waste hauler that does not generally offer recycling as part of the deal, it said.

“Communities are encouraged to explore the feasibility of extending recycling options to multi-family residences by local ordinance or any other method they choose,” the report stated.

It is estimated that increasing participation by multi-unit residents would impact 27,000 households and greatly reduce local waste generation.

The plan also noted that the lack of a residential recycling plan in the City of Flint, which makes up nearly a fourth of the county’s population. An estimated five percent of households in Flint currently participate in a recycling program, resulting in an additional 65 million pounds of waste per year ending up in landfills.

The Plan also states that the county’s highest concentration of population and residential areas are in Flint and Burton and in Flint Township, Grand Blanc Township, Davison Township and Mt. Morris Township.

Based on current population and land use trends, the plan concludes that coun- ty waste generated will increase by more than 10 percent in the next 25 years.

It also forecasts that the county’s three landfills will reach capacity in about 20 years. That includes waste coming from outside the county. The lifetime landfill capacity would extend to 40-60 years if only taking in waste generated in Genesee County.

The Plan reported population growth projections that will see an increase of 10.13 percent in total annual waste generation from 1.4 million cubic yards in 2010 to 1.54 million cubic yards in 2035. Most of that will come from the residential sector — showing an overall 30 percent increase.

The report also raised concerns about resolving ongoing violations at the Richfield Landfill, especially because it is near environmentally sensitive areas that impact the local drinking water supply.

After local approvals for the plan are obtained, it goes to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said a complete copy of the waste management plan can be read online at Click on environmental then on solid waste management and recycling tabs.

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