Canada Stopped from Exporting 3 Million Tons of Waste into Michigan

The Ontario will no longer be allowed to ship its waste into Michigan thanks to an agreement negotiated by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin.

Landfill Markets & Policy
19 January 2011

The Ontario, Canada will no longer be allowed to ship its waste into Michigan thanks to an agreement negotiated four years ago by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Carl Levin (D-MI).

According to Ontario's Minister of Environment the city has officially met the terms of their agreement, stopping shipments of city waste to Michigan as of Dec. 31, 2010.

The agreement will reportedly prevent more than 40,000 refuse trucks from entering the state each year - stopping 1.5 million tons (1.36 million tonnes) of city waste that otherwise would have been dumped in Michigan.

"This is a great victory for Michigan in the fight against Canadian trash," said Senator Stabenow. "This trash poses serious health, safety, and security threats to Michigan families and our communities."

"Since Toronto announced that it would begin sending its trash to our state in 2003, Senator Levin and I have made stopping these garbage imports a top priority. There is still more work to be done, but today's announcement is a major milestone in the fight to stop Canadian trash." Stabenow added.

The Stabenow-Levin agreement, negotiated with Ontario's Minister of the Environment in 2006, called for the phase out and elimination of city waste shipments by the end of 2010.

In addition to confirmation from Ontario's Minister of Environment, the Senators received letters from the four major Toronto-area municipalities confirming that their waste shipments to Michigan have stopped. Instead of shipping city waste to Michigan, these municipalities are utilizing new landfill capacity in Ontario and other waste management alternatives including diversion and waste-to-energy facilities.

According to figures are from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment 3 million tons (2.7 million tonnes) if waste entered Michigan from Canada in 2009, down from a high of about 4.5 million tons (4.1 million tonnes) in 2006.

Senator Levin said: "This is an important achievement in an ongoing effort to limit and eventually eliminate all Canadian trash shipments into our state."

"However, non-municipally managed trash that can come from private companies, from construction and industry, and from other sources, continues to come into Michigan. That is simply unacceptable. Along with Sen. Stabenow and others, I will work to gain passage of legislation that would address the non-municipally managed Canadian trash shipments into Michigan. I also encourage state and local officials to consider their own steps to end these shipments." Levin concluded.