This is an excerpt from a column I wrote last week for Dome Magazine.


By Chad Selweski

A dozen years after Democrats claimed victory in blocking the caravans of Canadian trash trucks coming to Michigan, the politics behind that PR move are now apparent.

After four years of relentlessly pounding on the issue of Canadian garbage imports to our state, in 2006 Democrats in Congress and the state Legislature declared mission accomplished when an agreement was reached to have Ontario stop sending its household waste to Michigan landfills. The pact was mostly aimed at Toronto.

At the time, it was pointed out that the pact did not apply to commercial and industrial waste or private trash hauling companies. But the issue quickly faded from the Democrats’ radar and the win over our northern neighbors was short lived.

Some 12 years later, state officials report that we are back to big increases in garbage flowing to our landfills from north of the border.

The newest report from the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) shows that Canadian solid waste shipped to Michigan annually jumped 19 percent in fiscal year 2017, to 10 1/2 million cubic yards. The reductions experienced after the 2006 accord have disappeared.

In 2012, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow and then-Sen. Carl Levin predicted that the agreement they negotiated with the Canadians would soon extend to all forms of trash. But nothing went further.

Since then, Michigan’s huge landfill capacity, plus its ridiculously low, 36 cents per-ton “tipping fee” – charged for each truckload that dumps its contents – has made our state the go-to place for trash haulers from Canada and a few nearby states.

Contiune reading here.