Snyder signs LaFontaine bill streamlining proper disposal of unused medications, hazardous waste

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Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation into law making proper waste disposal easier for items like expired medicine and other hazardous household materials such as light bulbs, batteries and thermometers.

“This law simplifies hazardous waste disposal by validating community collections and giving residents practical, convenient options so they aren’t dumping medications and batteries into the garbage,” said Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township.

Public Act 24’14, authored by state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, legalizes community waste collections, which are an important tool in keeping hazardous materials out of landfills. If kept in landfills, hazardous materials can leach into the ground and harm Michigan’s natural resources. Before this legislation, community waste collections were considered illegal because the grounds on which they were held were not recognized as official transfer facilities.

LaFontaine’s law exempts waste collection events from the definition of disposal areas so they are not subject to the same disposal guidelines as landfills. The law also requires personnel at the events to be knowledgeable in safety measures, maximum storage timelines, and record keeping.

“The growing popularity of waste collection events shows that Michiganders are aware of the need to divert certain materials from landfills. They want to do their part to protect our natural resources, and we are making it easier for them to do so,” said Rep. LaFontaine, chair of the House Natural Resources Committee.

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Gov. Rick Snyder held a bill signing today to legalize proper waste disposal at community collections for expired medicine and other hazardous household materials.

Gov. Rick Snyder held a bill signing today to legalize proper waste disposal at community collections for expired medicine and other hazardous household materials. Pictured from left: Office of Waste Management and Radiological Protection Acting Chief Bryce Feigner, Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township, Special Assistant to the DEQ Deputy Director Liz Browne, Gov. Rick Snyder, DEQ Director Dan Wyant and DEQ Legislative Liaison Sarah Howes.