ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Legislators in Michigan have introduced a bill to ban Toronto’s garbage from being trucked to its landfill sites.
Whether or not the bill will halt the five-year, multi-billion dollar contract hinges on a technicality: Michigan law forbids the dumping of recyclable bottles, cans and containers into its landfill–and Toronto doesn’t have the ability to pull all those recyclables from its trash.
The bill was introduced into the legislature yesterday and was launched by Democratic senator Ken DeBeaussaert.
The bill will block the trash shipments, DeBeaussaert says. Republicans hold a 22-14 majority over the Democrats in the state senate. Two districts each have a vacant seat.
Florida-based Republic Services won Toronto’s garbage contract after the deal to send the trash, by train, north to Kirkland Lake’s abandoned Adams Mine broke down last fall.
Matt Neely, a spokesperson for Republic Services, is confident the bill won’t pass because Michigan landfills still take in some non-refundable containers, such as juice bottles, from state municipalities.
“I think a ban isn’t likely. I don’t think it’s practical and I don’t think it will pass,” he says.
Trucking company Wilson Logistics holds the five-year contract to run the three million tonnes per year down Hwy. 401. Toronto will run out of space at its current landfill, near the city, in 2002.