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Michigan to block Ontario trash shipments by 2010

TORONTO, Ont. - Truck fleets that haul Ontario trash to Michigan landfill sites will have to focus on new lanes by 2010, thanks to a recent agreement between the Province of Ontario, the state of Mich...


TORONTO, Ont. – Truck fleets that haul Ontario trash to Michigan landfill sites will have to focus on new lanes by 2010, thanks to a recent agreement between the Province of Ontario, the state of Michigan and Ontario municipalities including Toronto.

The agreement staves off attempts by two determined US senators who aimed to have Ontario trash shipments banned from Michigan immediately. Michigan residents were growing increasingly concerned about Ontario trash shipments, which they said increased traffic congestion and caused road damage.

A piece of legislation recently introduced in Michigan aimed to completely ban Ontario trash shipments into the state.

“We were paying very close attention to that legislation – it absolutely had the potential of closing the border…in pretty short order, potentially by January, 2007,” Ontario Environment Minister, Laurel Broten, told the Toronto Star.

Toronto, and other Ontario municipalities that depended on Michigan to accept their trash, must now begin exploring alternatives. Under the agreement, they must reduce trash shipments into Michigan by 20% by the end of 2007 and 40% by the end of 2008. Broten said the province will explore options such as expanding domestic landfill sites, creating new dumps and developing garbage incinerators.

Currently, about 85 trucks per day haul Toronto’s garbage into Michigan. That’s down from a daily peak of 142 trucks. All of the trash generated by Canada’s largest city now finds its way to Michigan dumps – about 724,000 tonnes per year. Peel region trucks about 120,000 tonnes of garbage to Michigan each year.

About 150,000 tonnes of trash are shipped from Durham region to Michigan each year and York sends about 140,000 tonnes south.

Just over 24% of Ontario trash sent into Michigan is generated in Toronto, according to the City of Toronto Web site. The garbage is handled by Solid Waste Management Services.

Verspeeten Cartage took over trash hauling duties for the City of Toronto in April.


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