SALEM TOWNSHIP -- Michigan
is expanding the mountains of trash coming into its borders
at a faster rate than any other state except Pennsylvania,
a new report reveals.
In 2001, at a time many other states
cut rubbish imports, they grew in Michigan by 750,000
tons -- making the Great Lakes State the third most-popular
destination for other people's rubbish, behind Pennsylvania
and Virginia. Michigan ranked fourth last year.
More is coming.
Almost all of Toronto's garbage,
3 million tons a year and counting, should find a way
into Michigan early next year, according to the Library
of Congress' annual study of interstate solid waste. The
city now exports much of its waste because it's near capacity
at its landfill.
"It seems odd that a country the
size of Canada can't find a place for its own trash,"
said Linda Hamilton of Salem Township, home to a landfill
that accepts Canadian waste.
A perennial campaign issue, Canadian
trash floods Michigan because of inexpensive rates and
a Supreme Court ruling that forbids states from outlawing
Michigan imported 3.6 million tons
of trash in 2001. Unofficial state figures show imported
trash accounted for 20 percent of the state's 19 million
tons of trash in fiscal year 2002.