'Threat to residents’: Lawsuit filed against Advance Disposal over Arbor Hills Landfill not meeting federal requirements

Families who live near landfill say stench is unbearable at times

Families who live near the Arbor Hills Landfill say the stench is unbearable at times.

NORTHVILLE, Mich. – Families who live near the Arbor Hills Landfill say the stench is unbearable at times.

“I want to be able to go have a backyard bonfire,” resident Eric Ladwig said. “Where I don’t have to smell this stuff.”

Families in the Ridge Wood Elementary community in Northville have been dealing with noxious smells emanating from the landfill for years.

Hundreds of people have called their state representatives, gone to town halls and signed petitions. On Friday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit against Advanced Disposal.

“This site has been a public nuisance for years and the threat to residents is significant,” Nessel said. “It’s clear legal action is a necessity.”

Nessel said the landfill failed to ensure gas collection systems met state and federal requirements to control the emission of air pollutants. There is also concerns about potential groundwater contamination.

“I started my journey with a few parents and now we stand as a state,” Monya Ibrahim said.

Parents of students at Ridge Wood Elementary school, which sits near the landfill, have been speaking out for years.

“Today, Northville has proven regardless of our background that we made a difference,” Ibrahim said.

Families said the lawsuit is just the first step. They want to make sure Advance Disposal will not be allowed to expand.

If the landfill comes into compliance, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy wouldn’t be able to deny them a permit. That means, to prevent an expansion laws would likely need to be passed.

Nessel said the state is looking for significant fines and if Advance Disposal Services doesn’t comply, the state would want to shut them down.

Local 4 reached out to the owners of the landfill for a statement but did not hear back.

READ: Northville residents raise concerns about safety of Arbor Hills Landfill

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.