By Lynne Beauchamp, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sylvan Township Board members, by resolution, approved the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Management Plan 2017 at its regular board meeting on April 3.
Jon Tulman, Solid Waste Specialist of Washtenaw County Solid Waste Division, presented the plan to board members.
“Under Michigan law, counties have to have solid waste management plans in effect,” Tulman said in his presentation. He added that part of the Washtenaw County plan to emphasize waste prevention, reduction, recycling and composting is by having programs like clean up days, special collection bins for recycling and composting and school recycling plans.
Additionally, he said, part of the plan could include a Werkner Road collection facility so that no resident in the county would have to drive more than twenty miles for disposal. He said currently, Washtenaw County has one of twelve permanent collection facilities. Tulman said the facility located on Zeeb Road, the largest of the twelve, has a high participation rate and took in more than 430,000lbs of material last year.
In addition to disposing of waste, part of the program could include a reuse system.
“If someone brings in a can of paint, rather than dispose of it, it would be put on a shelf for someone else’s use, free of charge” said Tulman.
Sylvan Township Trustee, Cyndi Jabara asked Tulman about the fiscal responsibility of the plan from municipalities.
Tulman said there was no financial obligation at this time, no tax dollars are being used to fund the various solid waste programs available and that most of the funding has come from a landfill royalty program.
“We want to get the overall plan in place and then figure the best way to fund it,” responded Tulman.
“The need is greater than where the money is going to come from,” said one resident during the board meeting. “Once you get the message out, they will understand how important it is.”
Sylvan Township Trustee, Kurt Kosek, questioned why the township needed to approve the 400 plus page plan if the state requires a solid waste management plan.
Tulman explained the solid waste management plan for Washtenaw County needed 2/3 support from the 28 jurisdictions. Without the 2/3 support, the plan would need to be further reviewed for consideration.
Tulman said at the time of this meeting, fifteen of the Washtenaw County municipalities were in support of the solid waste management plan.
With Sylvan Township’s support, it was 16 municipalities in approval as of April 3.