Saline Recycled a Little Less, Sent More to the Landfill in 2017

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 03/22/2018 - 03:30

City of Saline residents recycled a little less and sent more waste to the landfills in 2017.

Luke Schmerberg, chairperson of the Environmental Commission, shared the commission’s annual report with Saline City Council Monday night.

Saline sent away 962 tons of recyclables in 2017 – down from the record high of 971 in 2016. Schmerberg told council the recycling reduction was due to the temporary closure of the Ann Arbor material recovery facility.

Waste Management, the city’s waste hauler, reported the amount of waste to landfills increased from 2,298 tons in 2016 to 2,332.

The city’s diversion rate – the percentage of waste diverted from landfills – rose from 29.5 percent in 2010 to 41.5 percent in 2015. Since the peak, the rate has declined to 35.7 percent. According to the report, each person in Saline generates 790 pounds of waste each year. Of that, 210 pounds are recyclables.

City residents continue to use the textile recycling program offered by Simple Recycling at no cost. Last year Saline residents recycled 23,458 pounds, up 4.7 percent from 2016.

City residents dropped off 27,581 pounds of junk at the city’s spring e-waste collection day last April. That’s the highest collection since the city stopped accepting cathode ray tube screens. 21 volunteers assisted at the event, which was held at no cost to the city. This year’s event is tentatively scheduled for April 28 at Saline City Hall.

The city partnered with the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commission’s Office to hold a Saline Clean Up Day. 530 residents dropped off 39,734 pounds of household hazardous waste, 31,991 pounds of electronic waste and 11,240 pounds of scrap metal.

The environmental commission also recycled two boxes of cell phones, which were redirected to the armed services. Holiday light recycling at city hall jumped from 565 pounds in 2016 to 740 pounds in 2017. Battery collection continues at city hall. The Saline Police Department collected 289 pounds of unused and unwanted pills in its Big Red Barrel.

The commission continues its public outreach efforts. At Summerfest, volunteers introduced an activity to encourage planning native flowers like purple coneflowers, blanket flowers and lanceleaf coreopsis. Volunteers also helped teach kids about recycling during a Summerfest activity.

Around town, people might have noticed the “no dumping, drains to river” stickers placed on storm drains. The commission also continues to recognize the work of environmentally conscious citizens with annual Saline Be Green awards.

Events for 2018 include:

  • Spring e-waste collection and seedling distribution, tentatively scheduled for April 28.
  • Information tents at the Farmers Market and Summerfest.
  • Paper shredding June 23.
  • County Clean-up day Sept. 29
  • Events centered around Zero Waste.

For more information about living an environmentally life, visit

Tran Longmoore's picture
Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is a veteran community journalist. He is founder and owner of He is co-publisher of The Saline Post weekly newspaper. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 734-272-6294.

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