Macomb County landfill fight gets heated, but resolved for now

Rizzo Environmental Services severs agreement with New Haven to build another landfill, goes with Plan B

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

NEW HAVEN, Mich. - Pine Tree Acres is one of the largest landfills in the country.

It is operated by Waste Management and, as of Monday night, it will remain the only landfill in Macomb County while a new plan is on the the table.

It got ugly after the village of New Haven entered into what's called a host agreement with Rizzo Environmental Services to open a new landfill right next to the existing one. Threats and recalls were being made daily.

Rizzo was looking to open the city to keep prices low for not only Macomb County but the surrounding communities it serves.

"It's worked out good for us because now we've got three alternative sites to go to," said Chuck Rizzo.

Rizzo looked for alternatives when the process got to DEFCON 4 nastiness. He has come up with a Plan B which deals with two other landfills outside the county as well as the Detroit Incinerator. The move will keep rates competitive for customers.

"Long term, Macomb County could be landfill-free and still enjoy the rates that they would have if they had two landfills," said Rizzo.

The citizens group that fought Rizzo is now onboard with the new plan, but not all the hoops have been cleared. Macomb County will have to change its solid waste plan which determines how much trash it will allow to leave the county.

"We definitely have to get trash out of the county. As far as if we get less trash in, it will be a better thing for us in the long run," said New Haven resident Shawn Milmine.

The announcement comes Tuesday. In addition, Rizzo, which could have sued New Haven for violating its host agreement, will release the village from all liability.

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