Ann Arbor's Resource Recovery Center is located at the W.R. Wheeler Service Center, 4120-4150 Platt Road. This 500 acre site managed for the disposal, recovery, and processing of Ann Arbor's garbage, recyclables, compost, and closed landfills. In addition, the Wheeler Service Center buildings off Stone School Road are the city's Field Operations and Fleet Services facilities. The city's waste recovery statistics are tracked through the State of the Environment Report Web pages.
Ann Arbor's Phase II landfill was filled in 8 years and was sealed shut in 1992. Phase II is considered a "small" landfill but it covers 37 acres (almost 60 soccer fields), is 50 feet high (same as a building with 5 floors) and holds 820,000 tons of garbage (a blue whale, the largest animal in the world only weighs 120 tons). Phase II landfill is lined with layers of clay, plastic and sand to seal off the bottom and top. To protect the environment, all liquids within the landfill are trapped in the leachate well or by the slurry wall. Landfill gases created by the decomposition of rotting materials are collected and used to fuel on-site engines, to create electricity.
In 1995 Michigan passed a state-wide ban on adding yard waste to landfills. Ann Arbor, however, has collected and composted yard waste since 1989. Approximately 12,000 tons of leaves, grass clippings, Christmas trees, and other yard debris are delivered to the Compost Center annually and are converted into either mulch or compost.
Construction of the City of Ann Arbor's Material Recovery and Transfer Facility was made possible through strong voter support of the 1990 Environmental Bond. The building is owned by the City of Ann Arbor and operated by a private company, ReCommunity. The Ann Arbor MRF currently accepts materials from several communities including the City of Ann Arbor, the City of Ypsilanti, the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University.
Many materials used in the construction of the MRF were made from recycled material including ceiling tiles, steel frame and reinforcing, aluminum, asphalt, insulation, flooring, signs, plastic bumper blocks, and parking stops, totaling almost 14 million pounds of recycled content material!
As of February 2009, the MRF processes nearly 130 tons of recyclables each day. The city's residential waste recovery rate (including both recycling and composting of yard waste) is one of the nation's best at 53%! This means that more than half of all the residential solid waste we produce in Ann Arbor is either recycled or composted instead of being sent to a landfill.
Another important function of the MRF is the processing and transferring of the nearly 200 tons of garbage each day. All non-recyclable refuse from Ann Arbor is tipped at the Transfer Station and compacted for easier (and less expensive) transport to the Woodland Meadows Landfill in Canton, Michigan.
This pond was created when the dirt from this area was used to cover Phase I and Phase II landfills. It is only about five-feet deep at the center.
Other sites shown on map
Southeast Area Park
This Ann Arbor Park On East East Ellsworth, near Platt Road offers an opportunity to see (and use!) playground equipment made with recycled products, such as climbing structures, bleachers, signs and picnic tables made of recycled aluminum cans and plastic bottles; crumb tire surfaces, recycled asphalt, and more! A great compliment to a trip to the Materials Recovery Facility.
Back to Solid Waste & Recycling Web page