Petitioning Mayor of Detroit Mike Duggan

Stop the Detroit Trash Incinerator

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My name is William Copeland. As an environmental educator in Detroit, I work everyday with students who are deeply affected by pollution and associated health problems. When I ask a class of students how many of them have had asthma, often half of the room raise their hands. When I broaden the question to see how many of the students have family members who’ve had an asthma attack or been hospitalized for asthma, almost every student puts their hand in the air. And my heart breaks.

In 1986 a trash incinerator was built in the city of Detroit, and city residents have been battling for the right to clean air every since. Today, Detroit's asthma hospitalization rate is three times that of the state of Michigan, and in my city was ranked the fourth most challenging place to live in the United States for those with asthma.

Help protect the air we breathe. Tell Detroit’s mayor to stop trash incineration in our city.

By burning trash, the incinerator releases many chemicals that contribute to staggering rates of asthma and other respiratory ailments. These chemicals can include nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, dioxins, particulate matter, and lead.

My friend and coworker, Melissa Sargent, lives not far from the incinerator. At a community hearing, she told a couple hundred neighbors, concerned citizens, and officials:

"My husband and I and our five children live less than two miles from the incinerator. We smell the piled up garbage as we work in our garden, and as the children play outside and ride their bikes. We hear the jet engine-like sound at all hours of the night as we rock our baby back to sleep. But what I am most worried about is what we can’t smell or hear."

Please sign our petition and join people like Melissa who are taking a stand for clean air and community health.

The pollutants being released into Detroit’s air are not solely from our city, or even our county. The incinerator takes in refuse from numerous neighboring counties (even as far away as Canada!) and turns it into harmful pollution for Detroit residents to breath. These communities believe that they are throwing their trash 'away,' but really they are tossing their waste straight into the lungs of our friends and family.

Tell Detroit’s mayor to stop treating Detroit like a toxic dumping ground and endangering the health of our neighbors and loved ones.

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Mayor of Detroit
    Mike Duggan


    William Copeland and Our Climate Voices started this petition with a single signature, and now has 13,829 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.




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