New fees could impact Canadian trash to Michigan

| 3/21/2006

Two Democratic senators from Michigan are trying to slow down or stop the import of Canadian trash to their state’s landfills by targeting the trucks that haul it.

Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, and Carl Levin, D-Detroit, have proposed a budget that increases dumping fees for trash trucks from Canada.

Opponents of the bill, which requires Congressional approval, say the plan to fiscally block imported trash violates the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The battle is far from over, and previous attempts by Michigan Democrats have failed.

Up to 400 truckloads of trash per day make their way from Canada to U.S. landfills, 100 of which come from the city of Toronto to the state of Michigan.

Toronto has used recycling efforts and other programs to cut trash back from its previous amount of 145 loads per day.

An increased dumping fee would be like a tariff, generating up to $45 million for Michigan, according to The Associated Press.