A recent report from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality reveals that there is “prohibited” waste stream making its way into Michigan landfills from the Ontario municipal waste stream.
In March 2003, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm directed the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to conduct a “Prohibited Waste Inspection Initiative” to ensure that prohibited waste streams are not being accepted for disposal at Michigan landfills. From mid-March to mid-June the DEQ and Wayne County Department of Environment conducted weekly inspections at eight different municipal solid waste landfills, inspecting approximately 5,000 loads (or about 264,000 cubic yards of waste).
Highlights of the findings are as follows: a large number of waste loads in the summer contain some yard waste, despite Michigan’s prohibition on the disposal of such waste in landfills; yard waste was found in a much higher percentage in Ontario loads from Michigan or other states; and, the amount of prohibited waste, other than yard waste, appears to be small and well-policed. The survey also notes that overall there are more recyclables (beverage containers) in Ontario waste than Michigan waste.
In other news, effective October 1, 2003, the State of Michigan is increasing solid waste surcharges on Michigan landfills to seven cents (U.S.) per cubic yard.
For a copy of the DEQ report, e-mail Robert Cook, executive director of the Ontario Waste Management Association, at firstname.lastname@example.org