LANSING (WWJ) – A group of U.S. lawmakers is telling Canada: We like your people, but we don’t want your trash.
It’s about economics. That’s according to Macomb County Commissioner Fred Miller, who says Canadian trash haulers have no disincentive for bringing Canadian waste into Michigan.
“We love our Canadian friends. They’re great neighbors and we cooperate on so many issues. But, on this issue we have to be firm and say, ‘Please keep your trash in Canada’,” he said, Wednesday.
Commissioner Miller said the current five dollar-per truck border crossing fee isn’t much help.
“The trash flows into Michigan because, in many ways, we’re a cheap date. It’s easy for people to bring their trash here because it’s cheaper. There’s an economic incentive,” he said.
Under the proposed “Stop Canadian Trash Act,” the fee would jump to $500 per commercial truck, and help boost inspections.
“We really still don’t know what is in those trucks, many times, when they come over,” said Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano.
Ficano said inspections are currently only done on one percent of Canadian trash trucks, and new inspection fee would help to increase security and safety at the border crossing.
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow introduced the legislation.
Back in January, she and fellow Michigan Senator Carl Levin helped foster an agreement that stopped municipal waste shipments to Michigan. But the city shipments that were halted represent only 40 percent of the trash entering the state from Canada. Waste from private companies continues to come in. (More on this story).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.