New hauler inks deal for Toronto trash route to Michigan

| 2/21/2006

Verspeeten Cartage Ltd. set its sights on a contract for something nobody wants.

Verspeeten recently landed a $4.2 million annual contract with the city of Toronto to haul trash generated by Canada’s largest city to landfills in the state of Michigan.

More than 100 drivers, many of whom hauled trash for the former contract holder, Wilson Logistics, are on board for the “seamless” transition that is scheduled for March 31.

Wilson backed out of the former contract, citing concerns about hours of service and a lack of profitability. The company had asked the city of Toronto for more compensation, but the two parties failed to agree.

Verspeeten, based in Ingersoll, Ontario, is considered the 30th largest for-hire trucking firm in Canada. The company takes over the 20-year contract that amounts to about $60 per ton. Wilson’s contract was for $55 per ton.

Trash disposal is always about “not in my backyard.” The city of Toronto reportedly sends 1.3 million tons of its trash to the Great Lake State each year, something that angers some Michigan lawmakers.

Michigan Democrats have tried to block the trash import through legislation, but so far, that type of legislation has met Republican opposition.

Trash, however unattractive, is a revenue generator for someone’s backyard. Not only that, but NAFTA trade rules also prohibit an outright ban on the import of trash. Lawmakers can, however, regulate certain aspects of the importation.

Toronto has also invested some money in a “tipper” that would help the city deal with more trash locally if the Michigan deal is ever stopped.