Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Michigan Considering Raising Dumping Fees

Normally it's not an issue that would be a much import: a state in a foreign country raising the price of dumping garbage within it's borders. But when Michigan announces they're considering increasing dumping fees by 3,500 per cent, Toronto residents get a bit jumpy.

Toronto ships one million tonnes of garbage a year to Michigan landfills, and the state's Democrats aren't too pleased about it.

We don't hate Canada, we just want our state to be a Great Lakes state, not a Great Waste state," Democratic Representative . Kathleen Law, a leader in the battle against out-of-state garbage, said yesterday.
Toronto has pledged to stop sending garbage south of the border by 2010 and has already made great strides with recycling program which diverts 43 per cent of garbage away from landfills.

Still, the Democrats are the minority party in the Michigan state legislature (although Gov. Jennifer Granholm is a Democrat) and the motion may not pass. Even if it does, it is unclear whether or not Toronto's dumping costs would increase. The city has a contract with an American company which handles garbage transport and dumping for $52 per tonne -- a level at which the company could likely still turn a profit even the prices were increased.

However, even if the situation is not a guaranteed calamity, the mere threat of drastic increases in the city's dumping fees should be enough to encourage Torontonians to continue to take advantage of our city's fantastic recycling program. For those who are still confused about the new Green Box program, take a look at the city's site for a full explanation. Remember, recycling saves the city tens of millions of dollars per year in addition to keeping the planet clean. Take the time, it's worth it.

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