Wolves in sheep's clothes
Beware wolves in sheep's clothing. Or in this case the waste industry trying to cloak itself in green rhetoric.
The issue is legislation that recently passed out of the House Energy and Technology Committee to overturn the 17-year-old ban on yard waste going into landfills. It is on the floor of the House this week. It is a terrible idea on so many different levels that it's hard to know where to start.
- It would result in significant and immediate layoffs of workers in the composting industry and the commercial businesses that sell compost products. Family business will go bankrupt. People would lose jobs almost immediately.
- It would eliminate a significant source of nutrient rich compost that is rebuilding Michigan's gardens, lawns and farms. Compost has micro- and macro-nutrients that commercial fertilizers lack.
- It would fill Michigan's landfills more quickly, and require more of them.
- It will increase greenhouse gas emissions.
The powerful waste industry is touting the bills as a way to increase ‘renewable' landfill gases that can generate electricity. But the gain - 30 mw of additional generation - is a pittance compared to the devastation the measure would wreak on family businesses across the state.
This is an issue where economic and environmental interests dovetail. The highest and best use of compost is not dumping it in a landfill. It is reclaiming the nutrients for use in farm field, vegetable gardens and landscaping.
Your state representative should be hearing from someone other than the waste industry lobbyists lurking in the shadows of the Capitol in dark trench coats (OK, we take poetic license!). Please call your rep today and let them know you oppose HB 4265 and HB 4266.
The yard waste ban is working, both for Michigan jobs and our natural resources. Let's keep the momentum going.