New Report: Stabenow-Levin Agreement Substantially Cuts Canadian Trash

Following Success of Original Agreement, Senators Have Sponsored Legislation to Further Reduce Canadian Trash Shipments

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

LANSING— A new report from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released today shows that an agreement negotiated by U.S. Senators Stabenow and Levin with the government of Ontario has substantially reduced Canadian trash shipments into Michigan.  Stabenow and Levin secured an agreement from Ontario in 2006 to stop dumping municipally managed trash in Michigan by the end of 2010.  That agreement has stopped 40,000 truckloads of Canadian trash from crossing into Michigan every year. 

The Department’s annual FY 2011 Report of Solid Waste Landfilled in Michigan, which measures year-over-year changes in landfilled waste, says that Canadian trash has been considerably reduced, largely as a result of the Senators’ agreement, with a 20 percent reduction in Canadian trash in the past year alone.  Today’s report covers landfilled waste from October, 2010 through September 2011.  Under the Stabenow-Levin agreement, Ontario committed to stop the dumping of all of Ontario’s municipally-managed waste in Michigan by December 31, 2010,  three months into the reporting period. 

Senator Debbie Stabenow said: “This report reflects the success of our agreement and the important progress we have made in stopping this trash. Canadian trash poses serious health, safety, and security threats to Michigan families and communities, and I remain committed to stopping other types of trash being dumped in our state.”

Senator Carl Levin said: “I’m pleased that trash shipments from Canada have been reduced significantly since the 2006 agreement, and that it appears Canada continues to fulfill its obligations under that agreement. We’re going to continue to work to eliminate the balance of Canada’s trash shipments, either through further agreement or through legislation.”

For more information on the Stabenow-Levin agreement that has already halted 40,000 Canadian trash trucks click here.

Following the success of the Stabenow-Levin agreement, which slammed the breaks on Ontario trash trucks, Senators Stabenow and Levin are sponsoring new legislation that would address the remaining Canadian Trash shipments.  The Stop Canadian Trash Act (S.840), authored by Sen. Stabenow and cosponsored by Senator Levin, would discourage the shipment of the remaining Canadian private sector waste and strengthen border security by requiring Canadian companies shipping waste to the United States to pay a $500 user fee at the border.  This fee would to provide the Department of Homeland Security with the resources to inspect every trash truck. Senator Levin introduced legislation (S. 860), cosponsored by Senator Stabenow, that would stop the importation of Canadian waste if the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection cannot show that the screening of municipal solid waste imported into the U.S. is effective from a national security standpoint. 

A 2006 Department of Homeland Security Report found that because so few trucks are thoroughly inspected, Canadian trash trucks have brought more than just trash into the U.S., including medical waste, illegal drugs, and illegal currency.