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February 2, 2006

2005 data shows Toronto waste shipments to Michigan continue to drop
Statistics expected to be released today by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality are expected to reveal that while overall Canadian waste exports to Michigan went up in 2005, Toronto’s portion went significantly down.

As part of its ongoing commitment to increase diversion and reduce the amount of waste going to Michigan landfill, the City of Toronto implemented a number of new or enhanced diversion programs in 2005 that dropped its waste tonnage going over the border by 14 per cent, the equivalent of 70 trucks per week. City of Toronto officials have been in regular communication with Michigan Legislators to re-confirm Toronto’s intention to steadily decrease the number of trucks year by year, with the goal to eliminate waste shipments to Michigan by 2010.

In compiling its statistics, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has included waste tonnage data from all Ontario sources. This includes garbage coming from private haulers bringing private industrial, commercial and institutional waste to Michigan landfills. It is this waste that is responsible for the increase in Ontario shipments. Municipalities on the other hand, led by the City of Toronto, have reduced their portion of the waste that Michigan receives. Toronto’s percentage of Ontario-generated Michigan-bound garbage has dropped from one third to one quarter.

“We are pleased that we’ve continued to make progress in meeting our diversion targets and that this translates into fewer trucks heading down the road,” said Councillor Shelley Carroll, Chair of the City’s Works Committee. “With the terrific cooperation of our residents and businesses, we are doing what we promised we would do. We hope that Michigan residents recognize our residents’ efforts.”

Currently the City of Toronto sends less than 100 trucks of waste per day to Michigan, down from a peak of 142 trucks per day in 2003. The City is committed to and has a comprehensive strategy for achieving the goal of a 60 per cent rate of diversion by 2008 and 100 per cent diversion by 2012.

Media contacts:

Councillor Shelley Carroll

Richard Butts
General Manager
Solid Waste Management



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