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Detroit’s controversial incinerator is closed

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Good riddance

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For years, Detroiters have been calling for the incinerator near the intersection of I-75 and I-94 to close. Nearby residents regularly protested about the smell and potential health concerns.

Today, Mayor Mike Duggan released a statement which said that Detroit Renewable Energy, the company that operates the incinerator, will close the facility. He also said that the trash contract will be transferred to another company and that “we expect there will be no added costs to taxpayers.”

This is a huge victory for environmental activists and the culmination of years of pressure on the city to do something about the country’s largest municipal incinerator. According to Zero Waste Detroit, it is one of the worst polluters in Wayne County. The Detroit News reports that the incinerator “has exceeded pollution emissions standards more than 750 times over the last five years.”

Last year, the city opened the Office of Sustainability to look at environmental concerns just like this, and is soon expected to release its Sustainability Action Agenda. Though it’s unclear why the closure happened now, Duggan did say that “The City of Detroit has been pushing Detroit Renewable Energy to address neighborhood concerns about the incinerator for nearly a year.”