All Landfills Are Not the Same

By Andrea Davis on March 15, 2019

You may think a landfill is a landfill, but there are actually different types meant for receiving various materials. Landfills can be licensed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) as either a Type I, Type II or Type III landfill.

Type I landfills are facilities used specifically for the disposal of materials designated as hazardous waste. These landfills are not used for solid waste. They contain additional protections suitable for the hazardous materials disposed of in them.

After your trash is picked up by a waste hauler, it will most likely end up in a Type II landfill. This type of landfill, also called a municipal solid waste landfill, is meant for virtually any non-liquid waste that is not classified as hazardous waste. That means anything you throw away in your kitchen trash, as well as furniture, mattress and appliances and practically anything else you can imagine. Waste from homes, businesses and construction sites fills these types of landfills.

Type III landfills are either for construction and demolition materials only or designated and permitted for a certain type of waste. This category includes industrial waste landfills. They are more specialized versions of a landfill than Type II landfills.

All landfills in Michigan are regulated by MDEQ and must adhere to rules that are in place to protect the surrounding community and the environment. These rules ensure that landfills are safe places to put trash. Rules include things like constructing the landfill appropriately with a liner, monitoring intake to prevent prohibited materials, restricting public access and odor control.

Granger’s active landfills, Wood Street and Grand River Avenue Landfills, are Type II landfills. In January 2019, MDEQ approved Granger’s permit to construct a 12-acre Type III landfill on Granger’s property on Wood Street in Lansing. The unit will be specifically designed to be used for impacted soil or fly ash (the product of coal combustion) on a project by project basis.

At Granger, we will use both Type II and Type III landfills to improve stability in the waste pile, odor control, fill progression and use of capacity. We will maintain this new landfill area to the same high standards as our existing landfills to achieve responsible environmental management.

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