A truck driver was literally in deep doo-doo on March 23 in an incident that has inflamed U.S. opponents of waste import from Canada when his truck carrying treated human sewage from Toronto spilled some of its load on a Michigan highway.
The spill occurred just after 6 a.m. in Flat Rock (about 40 kilometres south of Detroit) and closed two southbound lanes of Telegraph Rd., the main artery through the town. The truck driver appears to have slammed on his brakes suddenly, leaving 60 feet of skid marks. The truck was headed to a landfill in Sumpter Township, about 10 kilometres outside of Flat Rock.
The road was closed until 4 p.m. while HazMat crews from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality cleaned up the sludge. No one was hurt in the accident.
Toronto ships approximately 20 truckloads of sewage sludge each day to Michigan landfills. Each truckload contains about 30 tonnes of waste.
The driver has been charged with spilling debris on a highway, and police suspect the driver fell asleep at the wheel. They plan to review his logbook to check his hours. The driver works for Warren Transport, a trucking company hired by Terratec Environmental Ltd. based in Milton, Ontario.
Flat Rock police have confiscated the truck driver’s license, and will impound the truck until the company has paid all costs incurred by the city, about US $10,000.