Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

7500 Odawa Circle
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
231.242.1400 / 1.866.652.5822

Environmental Services Program

   Solid Waste & Recycling

The Solid Waste Disposal Statute of 2003 requires the sanitary and environmentally sound collection, storage, transfer and disposal of solid waste on lands and at facilities within LTBB jurisdiction.

The statute prohibits:

The statute requires:

All government buildings recycle cardboard, office paper, shredded office paper, glass, deposits, aluminum, plastics, alkaline batteries, printer cartridges, fluorescent light bulbs and e-waste. We also properly dispose of limited amounts of hazardous waste generated from tribal maintenance operations and laboratories. Recycling bins and collection services are provided to all tribal housing sites. The Energy Advisory Team made of several government departments meets quarterly to discuss solid waste issues and improvements to our solid waste reduction efforts.

For more information on recycling, please see the links below or contact us at (231) 242-1574 or

LTBB Recycling Brochure
Got Old or Unwanted Medicines? Put Your Pills in the POD!
Emmet County Recycling
EPA Recycling

LTBB receives its first grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The grant is for the Indian General Assistance Program with the goal to build tribal environmental capacities while also implementing a solid waste program. The Environmental Department forms as a result of this grant.

ESP staff work with the Tribal Chairman and Tribal Council to develop the Solid Waste Disposal Act. The Act was passed by Tribal Council in January 2003.

ESP staff worked to develop and implement a solid waste reduction and recycling program for all government facilities and housing sites. Education and outreach on recycling was provided at numerous events, meetings and mailings, including recycling collection events. Partnerships with Emmet County Department of Public Works were established and contributed significantly to the development and implementation of LTBB’s recycling program.

EPA received a grant to develop an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan. The Solid Waste Advisory Team (SWAT) was formed with staff from several government departments, tribal enterprises and technical recycling experts. The SWAT worked with a consultant to develop a plan that summarized information on solid waste at LTBB facilities, evaluated and selected alternatives for types of recycling and developed an annual priority list of activities to implement the plan for the next five years. The project also included drafting updates to WOS 2003-001 to reflect current practices and other changes. The ISWMP was completed in October 2008.

In April 2008, LTBB received a grant to reduce medicines and electronic wastes on Reservation. This grant helped increase awareness and sponsor an e-waste collection event with local partners. The Pharmaceutical and Over-the-Counter (POD) Stakeholder Workgroup began with LTBB Environmental Services, Tribal Police Department and Safety Department;  Emmet County Department of Public Works; Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council; local law enforcement agencies and McClaren Northern Michigan (then Northern Michigan Regional Hospital). The workgroup has since grown to include several additional local law enforcement agencies, community agencies and volunteers. For a listing of all current partners, check out the program website at

ESP received a grant from the U.S. EPA to complete an open dumps site assessment. The Solid Waste Advisory Team expands to energy efficiency and renewable energy and is renamed the Energy Advisory Team.

The Open Dump Assessment was completed in September 2010. The assessment found six dumps on LTBB properties.

In October, the ESP received funding to start a brownfields and environmental response program. Although guided by different federal statutes, the new brownfields program adds to the Environmental Services technical assistance on land contamination issues and clean-up processes, of which solid waste is one type.

Recycling services were expanded to Odawa Hotel Administration and ESP provided recycling containers for all hotel offices. In April, ESP started a pilot composting project for source separated organics or food waste and began collecting food waste from 8 departments and the twice per week Elders luncheons. Remaining funds from the Open Dump Assessment project were used for a consultant to help develop an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program for all government departments and enterprises as well as a Recycling Operations Plan to help streamline and improve collection efforts. This project was completed in September.

In May, curbside recycling began at the Government Complex and Mskiki Gumik (Bear River Health Park). ESP worked with the Housing Department to add recycling containers to the apartment inventories at Mtigwaakiis Housing. Containers were delivered to residents in November. ESP purchased an onsite recycling trailer that was received in late December. The success of the pilot compost project required more space and ‘bays’ were added behind the NRD and near the greenhouse.

A new recycling trailer was delivered to Mtigwaakiis Housing in March. The trailer is a result of a partnership with the Facilities Department to provide more convenient, onsite recycling services residents while also increasing the efficiency of services. The trailer is taken to the Emmet County Transfer Station monthly or as needed. Earth Week activities in April included the partial clean-up of open dumps and litter at Biindigen, Pond Street, Mtigwaakiis Housing and along Odawa Circle. Recycling data tracking began at the Mskiki Gumik in June. ESP staff also began work on a recycle bin inventory, green purchasing guidelines for office supplies and review of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan.

ESP staff completed a bin inventory for government offices in June and developed a proposal to purchase additional recycling containers for the Mskiki Gumik, Judicial Center and Government Complex. The proposal also included a proposal to expand curbside collection to the Judicial Center. The draft green purchasing list for office supplies was tested through a pilot study with one government department beginning in August and going through November. In September, “no dumping” enforcement signage was installed at both housing sites. Also, a recycling trailer was ordered for the Waasnodeki Housing site. The trailer should be onsite and available for residents to use in late December 2014.

Goals for 2015 are to continue to data tracking and reporting on composing and recycling efforts for LTBB government and housing sites; complete the update of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (requires outside funding); begin updates to Solid Waste Disposal statute as a result of ISWMP updates; continue to develop green purchasing policy and tools; and continue to expand LTBB’s solid waste pollution prevention and recycling activities, with a particular focus on providing more information and recycling containers to tribal citizens.



Government Center
7500 Odawa Circle
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
© 2014 Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians