Legislature could act soon to limit what can be burned in trash barrels


The Legislature could enact new restrictions soon on what types of household waste can be disposed of in burn barrels. We have more from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

Household waste now includes a lot more toxic materials - such as computer parts, rubber, plastic, and treated wood. A rule proposed last year would have banned outdoor burning in communities that don't have a local trash-burning ordinance.

That goes too far, says state Representative Howard Kurtz. He's from northern Michigan, where a lot of people in small towns and rural areas get rid of their trash in burn barrels.

"They have to have the ability to burn their trash and dispose of it properly and that's what we've done for years and years."

Hugh McDiarmid is with the Michigan Environmental Council.

"We don't think it goes quite far enough," he says.

McDiarmid says the burning ban should apply to all household waste.

"We'd like to see a more complete ban on burning items in outdoor barrels," he adds.

McDiarmid says better recycling programs would be a better alternative to burning trash.