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Snyder wants to hike landfill fees, use money to help environment

Renew Michigan’s Environment proposal Infographic
Office of Governor Rick Snyder
Office of Governor Rick Snyder

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.”


Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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