By Heather Reece, WMEAC Policy Intern
In Governor Rick Snyder’s Budget Recommendation for the 2012 fiscal year (and the projected fiscal year of 2013)is a proposed increase in the state’s landfill tipping fee.
The current fee is 7 cents per cubic yard or 21 cents per ton. Governor Snyder is seeking a 5-cent increase bringing the fee to 12-cents per cubic yard.
Despite the proposed hike, Michigan would remain one of the cheapest states for solid waste disposal – making the state of Michigan a prime destination for garbage.
In 2008, more than 30 percent of solid waste being dumped in Michigan landfills came from out of state.
The Governor is right to increase the pitifully low tipping fee and we absolutely support his doing so.
However, the governor is missing an opportunity with this modest proposal. A mere 5-cent increase in the fee will barely cover the growing expenses for running and operating the solid waste management program and will do little to discourage dumping in Michigan.
Make Trash Cost More!
Moreover, statewide, there is little incentive for consumers to recycle. A much higher fee would encourage more people to recycle, compost, and seek alternative solutions to just throwing stuff out.
A 2009 proposal by Rep. Scripps proposed would have moved the fee to $7.50 per ton generating $145 million annually for program administration and municipal recycling programs; an excellent idea.
But the ultimate destination of the money is less important – given all of the worthy environmental programs facing more cuts on top of a decade of cuts – than the incentive needed to encourage people to stop mindlessly trashing our beautiful state.