The Detroit Renewable Power Trash Incinerator Stinks

And that smell of decay wafting through the air is illegal

Summer’s here and so is the stench of piled up garbage waiting to be burned at the Detroit Renewable Power incinerator. The Ecology Center’s Detroit office is located in the heart of Detroit’s cultural center--only blocks away from the main branch of the public library, the DIA, and other art galleries and museums--and is also less than two miles away from the incinerator. Just last week the wind carried the putrid smells right up to the door of our building.

One may think this is just par for the course, living and working close to a facility that processes the trash of Detroit and surrounding communities. But, according to the most recent consent decree that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has with the facility, no odors are permitted. Those smells of decay wafting on the air are illegal.

Do you want to know what you can do about it? If you live, work, or recreate in the area and smell garbage you can call the MDEQ (contact info below). Odor violations can lead to fines for the incinerator’s owners. You can also join us at a community meeting this summer.

The Breathe Free Detroit campaign will host community meetings throughout the summer. Join us to learn about the latest developments in the campaign, gather in community, and find out what you can do to help shut down the Detroit incinerator. Last month, Breathe Free Detroit got the attention of Mayor Duggan when we delivered close to 15,000 signatures to his office calling for the facility’s closure. Breathe Free Detroit representatives have since met with City officials and expect to have additional meetings with members of the Mayor’s administration this summer. We need to keep pushing and keep this important issue on the agenda. The next community meeting is scheduled for:

Wednesday, July 25th, 6 - 7:30

at the Farnsworth Community Garden

Corner of Moran and Farnsworth, Detroit

Please look for us at the Detroit Kite Festival

July 15th at Belle Isle Park

Report odors to MDEQ’s Pollution Emerging Alert System hotline:


Staff are available to receive calls 24/7.

*Breathe Free Detroit is currently seeking a community organizer. More information.

Published on June 27, 2018