Michigan agency shows Canadian waste decline

According to a story from BNA reporter Nora Macaluso (http://ehscenter.bna.com) the amount of Canadian waste arriving at Michigan landfills declined in fiscal year 2007, though Canada continues to be the largest exporter of solid waste to the state. The information comes from the Michigan DEQ’s annual report, issued January 31.

Canada landfilled 10.98 million cubic yards of solid waste in Michigan in 2007, down from 12.08 million cubic yards in 2006. The decline was part of a six per cent overall drop in the amount of waste disposed of in state landfills, the DEQ said.

Some 58 million cubic yards of waste were landfilled in Michigan landfills in fiscal 2007, the report said. Michigan-generated waste decreased by about four percent (1.8 million cubic yards) while out-of-state waste dropped by about 10 percent (or 10 million cubic yards).

The DEQ says the decline is likely a result of a weak economy, rising transportation costs, changes in reporting and contracts, and a commitment by Ontario to phase out the export of municipally solid waste to Michigan.

Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) credited the Ontario agreement, which they brokered with Canadian officials in 2006.

“I’m encouraged by this progress and will continue to work with Ontario officials to ensure the terms of our agreement with Canada are met and all municipally managed waste from Canada stops in 2010,” Stabenow says.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the state House noted that out-of-state garbage still makes up almost a third of the waste dumped in Michigan and called on lawmakers in the Senate to take action on bills that would make the state less attractive as a dumping ground. The House last year passed legislation (House bills 4047, 4485, and 4486) that would raise Michigan’s tip fees, curb new landfills and landfill expansions, and stiffen penalties for dumping prohibited waste in the state. The bills stalled in the Republican-led Senate, with businesses saying the rules would hurt in-state residents as well as out-of-state haulers.

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