(1) In order to enhance the beauty and quality of our environment; conserve and recycle our natural resources; prevent the spread of disease and the creation of nuisances; protect the public health, safety, and welfare; and provide a coordinated statewide solid waste management program, the Legislature finds that:
(a) Inefficient and improper methods of managing solid waste create hazards to public health, cause pollution of air and water resources, constitute a waste of natural resources, have an adverse effect on land values, and create public nuisances.
(b) Problems of solid waste management have become a matter statewide in scope and necessitate state action to assist local government in improving methods and processes to promote more efficient methods of solid waste collection and disposal.
(c) The continuing technological progress and improvements in methods of manufacture, packaging, and marketing of consumer products have resulted in an ever-mounting increase of the mass of material discarded by the purchasers of such products, thereby necessitating a statewide approach to assist local governments around the state with their solid waste management programs.
(d) The economic and population growth of our state and the improvements in the standard of living enjoyed by our population have required increased industrial production together with related commercial and agricultural operations to meet our needs, which have resulted in a rising tide of unwanted and discarded materials.
(e) The failure or inability to economically recover material and energy resources from solid waste results in the unnecessary waste and depletion of our natural resources, and, therefore, maximum resource recovery from solid waste and maximum recycling and reuse of such resources must be considered goals of the state.
(f) Certain solid waste, due to its quantity; concentration; or physical, chemical, biological, or infectious characteristics, is hazardous to human health, safety, and welfare and to the environment, and exceptional attention to the transportation, disposal, storage, and treatment of such waste is necessary to protect human health, safety, and welfare and the environment.
(g) This act should be integrated with other acts and parts of this chapter such that nonhazardous waste discharges currently regulated under this chapter, water or solid waste construction, modification, or operating permits, air emissions, special wastes, and other activities regulated under other more appropriate provisions of law remain in full force and effect and are not preempted by the requirements of this act.
(2) It is declared to be the purpose of this act to:
(a) Plan for and regulate in the most economically feasible, cost-effective, and environmentally safe manner the storage, collection, transport, separation, processing, recycling, and disposal of solid waste in order to protect the public safety, health, and welfare; enhance the environment for the people of this state; and recover resources which have the potential for further usefulness.
(b) Establish and maintain a cooperative state program of planning and technical and financial assistance for solid waste management.
(c) Provide the authority and require counties and municipalities to adequately plan and provide efficient, environmentally acceptable solid waste management and require counties to plan for proper hazardous waste management.
(d) Require review of the design, and issue permits for the construction, operation, and closure of solid waste management facilities.
(e) Promote the application of resource recovery systems which preserve and enhance the quality of air, water, and land resources.
(f) Ensure that hazardous waste is transported, disposed of, stored, and treated in a manner adequate to protect human health, safety, and welfare and the environment.
(g) Promote the reduction, recycling, reuse, or treatment of solid waste, specifically including hazardous waste, in lieu of disposal of such wastes.
(h) Promote the application of methods and technology for the treatment, disposal, and transportation of hazardous wastes which are practical, cost-effective, and economically feasible.
(i) Encourage counties and municipalities to utilize all means reasonably available to promote efficient and proper methods of managing solid waste and to promote the economical recovery of material and energy resources from solid waste, including, but not limited to, contracting with persons to provide or operate resource recovery services or facilities on behalf of the county or municipality.
(j) Promote the education of the general public and the training of solid waste professionals to reduce the production of solid waste, to ensure proper disposal of solid waste, and to encourage recycling.
(k) Encourage the development of waste reduction and recycling as a means of managing solid waste, conserving resources, and supplying energy through planning, grants, technical assistance, and other incentives.
(l) Encourage the development of the state’s recycling industry by promoting the successful development of markets for recycled items and by promoting the acceleration and advancement of the technology used in manufacturing processes that use recycled items.
(m) Require all state agencies to aid and promote the development of recycling through their procurement policies for the general welfare and economy of the state.
(n) Require counties to develop and implement recycling programs within their jurisdictions to return valuable materials to productive use, to conserve energy and natural resources, and to protect capacity at solid waste management facilities.
(o) Ensure that biomedical waste is treated and disposed of in a manner adequate to protect human health, safety, and welfare and the environment.
(p) Require counties, municipalities, and state agencies to determine the full cost for providing, in an environmentally safe manner, storage, collection, transport, separation, processing, recycling, and disposal of solid waste material, and encourage counties, municipalities, and state agencies affected to contract with private persons for any or all such services in order to assure that such services are provided on the most cost-effective basis.