Some Canadian garbage more than just trash

| 3/17/2006

Michigan lawmakers who oppose trucking Canadian trash to local landfills have an important ally in their corner: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

An audit by the department’s inspector general has revealed there is more to the garbage hauling than just trash. The audit found illegal drugs, currency and medical waste in trucks hauling waste from Toronto, which is Canada’s largest city.

Michigan has contracted with Toronto since 1998 to accept about 100,000 tons of trash per year.

Michigan lawmakers have tried raising dump fees and putting a moratorium on new landfills, but that legislation died.

The Homeland Security Department audit has given them some recent firepower, but the full report has not yet been made public. Lawmakers on all levels are now demanding the full report.

“Since there is no practical way to adequately inspect these trash trucks, we simply should not allow them into this country,” the lawmakers wrote to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in a letter.

Toronto lawmakers are vowing to keep up programs to reduce the city’s trash output, such as recycling.