I agree and according to this recent article, Ontario is still intending to ship its waste to Michigan:
"Waste Management of Canada Corporation (WMCC) will provide 20 years of capacity at current market rates, or find somewhere in Michigan to bury about 120,000 tonnes of Peel's waste annually, according to the deal signed yesterday."
We have a similar problem in IL with all of the garbage from Chicago being sent to other areas of the state. (At least it is in-state trash though, and not foreign trash!) Still, there is nothing like driving behind a truckload of Chicago's dirty diapers and rotting apples for 2 hours on a hot summer's day. :p
Don't forget that Michigan is getting paid a pretty penny for the garbage. It isnt as though Toronto is quietly sneaking across the border and hiding truckloads of trash in the dumps when no one is looking.
Then, on the other hand, the vast majority of our air pollution comes from Detroit. So I guess in the end it all sucks, everyone needs to find a cleaner way to live.
I found an interesting FAQ at Michigan senator Debbie Stabenow's website
A nasty fact she relates: "In 2003, Michigan received a total of 9.4 million cubic yards of Canadian trash, up 43% from 2002. This dramatic increase is due to the fact that in January 2003, the City of Toronto began shipping all of its trash – 1.1 million tons – to Michigan’s landfills."
Ouch. That's a lot of garbage. Unfortunately, under NAFTA, they don't seem to have a choice.
The senator is trying very hard to stop the garbage though and is even invoking homeland security: "Senator Stabenow has presented a copy of the 165,000 signed petitions to Homeland Secretary Ridge and has accompanied him on a personal tour of the Bluewater Bridge, where he saw the lines of trash trucks waiting to enter Michigan"
I feel bad for Michigan but like Kelly said, someones making a lot of money for burying garbage. And it's not like we don't get our fair share of polution from them, just think of Dr. Phil.
I agree Patrick, between Congress and NAFTA, Michigan does not have much of a choice in the matter. A ruling by the Supreme Court declared waste to be an "article of interstate commerce". As such, Congress is to regulate trash, thereby making any local or state restrictions on Canadian garbage unenforceable. Under NAFTA, products (or waste in this case) are not to be "disadvantaged because of their foreign origin". That means that Canadian trash must be treated the same as Michigan trash.
I am not sure how much money is to be made off of Canadian trash. The state government has finally put an end to handing out tax-free subsidies for companies to create more landfills . Any profit to be made off of Canadian trash, which is charged at the same rate as Michigan trash, would go directly into the hands of the landfill owners.
Seems like the people of Michigan are the ones who suffer as their landfills now only have an estimated lifespan of ten years rather than seventeen and so much of their tax money has been sunk into tax free bonds to create these landfills in the first place, which do not employ as many people as originally planned.
I do agree with you both on Detroit though. That place is just scary (especially at night when the power is turned off to save money!) I am still wrestling with myself on whether I could ever be a Tigers fan when we move to the Wolverine State! ;)