Community Celebrates Detroit Incinerator Closure, Step Toward Environmental Justice

Protections for workers, residents and move toward zero waste still crucial

News from Breathe Free Detroit
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Contact: Kim Hunter [email protected] 313-287-2992

DETROIT – With the advent of the sudden scheduled closing of the Detroit Incinerator, the Breathe Free Detroit Campaign has issued the following statement:

Those of us in the Breathe Free Detroit Campaign have been working for years for Detroiters’ right to breathe clean air, for just transition for workers and residents once the incinerator closed, and movement toward zero waste. We celebrate the closure of one of the world’s largest incinerators, a facility that has been a bad neighbor for over 30 years, unable to comply with Clean Air Act laws and odor restrictions. This is a great victory for the community and public health.

We will continue to pursue environmental justice with our goals of protections for the workers and residents and working toward serious reducing, reusing, and recycling efforts to produce zero waste.

Incinerator operators made substantial profits from the labor of the workers and we are glad to hear that Mayor Mike Duggan supports the corporation’s efforts to find comparable wages and benefits for the laid off workers. We also hope those new jobs don’t harm human health. Also, residents deserve protections not to be priced out or pushed out of one of Detroit’s most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. 

We still produce too much waste and city leaders need to take the lead in waste reduction. This is an opportunity for Detroit’s elected leaders to help reduce global warming, and move toward environmental justice and a healthier future.

Of course the Breathe Free Detroit Campaign welcomes the closure of a polluting facility and we look forward to a new chapter in Detroit’s movement toward dealing with the challenges that remain for workers, residents and for all Detroiters. With that said, today is a good day and we thank the community for standing up to corporate interests and winning.


Ecology Center is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization established in 1970 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Ecology Center develops innovative solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet in four primary areas: Environmental Health, Sustainable Food, Energy & Climate Change, and Zero Waste. This work is accomplished through educating consumers to help keep their families healthy and safe, pushing corporations to use clean energy, make safe products, and provide healthy food, providing people with innovative services that promote healthy people and a healthy planet and working with policymakers to establish laws that protect communities and the environment. For more information visit and follow @Ecology_Center