Next December, when the Keele Valley landfill closes, the City of Toronto will haul its waste to a Republic Services Inc. landfill in Wayne County, Michigan. On December 4, City council voted 38-2 to send 1.25 million tonnes of Toronto waste to Michigan in 2003 and in subsequent years as needed. According to Angelos Bacopoulos, head of solid waste management, the city will pay about $50 a tonne, or $62.5-million per year. Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Chris Hodgson recently suggested that the city look for an Ontario-based solution using alternatives such as incineration. Mr. Hodgson said the province won’t block the plan, but he’s starting so-called “smart growth councils” on waste disposal that he hopes will find the solution to Toronto’s and other municipalities’ waste woes. The councils will include representatives from the private and public sectors. Mr. Hodgson doesn’t rule out sending the waste to the Adams Mine landfill in Kirkland Lake, Ontario.
The city’s waste currently goes to three landfills: Keele Valley, Republic Michigan landfill and another Michigan landfill operated by Onyx North America Corp. Approximately 900,000 tonnes is municipal waste and the remainder is from industrial and commercial sources. The city’s contract with Onyx expires at the end of 2002 and will not be renewed. Michigan Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus has asked Congress and the City of Toronto to end the practice of hauling Canadian waste to Michigan (an estimated 180 truckloads per day), for economic and security reasons. According to the state Department of Environmental Quality, Canada accounted for 4.5 per cent of waste disposed in Michigan in 1999.
Contact Angelos Bacopoulos at 416-392-8301