February 19, 2007

Michigan reports higher waste volumes from Canada, though Toronto shipments decrease

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has released its 2006 annual summary of waste from Canada. Overall, tonnage has increased from 5.6 million tonnes in 2005 to 5.7 million tonnes in 2006. This includes all municipal and industrial/commercial waste from across Ontario.

Noteworthy, however, is the fact that that the amount of waste from the city of Toronto alone decreased over the same period, and for the fourth consecutive year. In 2005, Toronto shipped 881,000 tonnes of waste to Michigan. This amount dropped to 818,500 tonnes last year. As a percentage, the city of Toronto was responsible for 15.7% of all waste shipments in 2005, and 14.3% in 2006. These reductions are attributed to increased waste diversion by residents, as well as the end of biosolids shipments that took effect on August 1 last year.

The DEQ's 11th Report of Solid Waste Landfilled in Michigan indicates that imported solid waste made up 31% of all waste disposed of in Michigan landfills in Fiscal Year 2006. The state's landfills accepted nearly 61.9 million cubic yards of solid waste, 42.9 million cubic yards from Michigan residents (a decrease of about 6% from fiscal year 2005).

Waste imported from other states and Canada increased by about 3% percent, to 19 million cubic yards. The report notes that Canada remains the largest source of waste imports into Michigan, accounting for 12 million cubic yards in 2006, up 2% from fiscal year 2005.

Under an agreement signed with Michigan U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin last August, Ontario promised to end shipment of all municipally managed solid waste to Michigan by 2010. This agreement covers approximately 37% of the solid waste Canada currently sends to Michigan.

Based on the capacity used during fiscal year 2006, the DEQ estimates that Michigan landfills have approximately 18 years of remaining disposal capacity.

The report may be viewed on the DEQ Web site, www.michigan.gov/deq (click on "Waste," "Solid Waste," and under the "Information" tab, click on "Annual Reports of Solid Waste Landfilled" and then on the link for the fiscal year report desired).

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