As crazy as it sounds, burning trash, including household waste, was once a common practice in many areas, including Michigan. This practice was very common before stricter environmental regulations were implemented and before the days of regular curbside trash service.

If you come from a younger generation, the thought of someone walking out into their backyard and lighting their trash on fire must sound incredibly stupid and environmentally irresponsible.

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While growing up, one of my daily chores was taking our household trash, tossing it into our backyard burn barrel, and lighting it on fire. As a young boy, I didn't mind so much because it allowed me to play with fire without getting into trouble.

The whole concept sounds very archaic in 2024.

Is It Legal to Burn Trash in Michigan?

According to the State of Michigan, Michigan no longer allows residents to burn their garbage. The once-legal practice is now illegal in the state of Michigan.

On April 19, 2012, a law went into effect prohibiting the open burning of household trash containing plastic, rubber, foam, chemically treated wood, textiles, electronics, chemicals, or hazardous materials.

Burning household trash, tires, waste petroleum products, roofing and construction materials, hazardous waste products, and their containers are prohibited in every state throughout the U.S.

While you may not be allowed to burn the items mentioned above, with a permit you are allowed to burn tree limbs, brush, stumps, evergreen needles, leaves, and grass as long as it's done safely.

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