Now Entering Mich.

State's landfill disposal and Canadian imports drop.

The Amount of Waste disposed of in Michigan's landfills decreased during fiscal year 2007. According to an annual report by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), overall landfill disposal dropped 6 percent from fiscal year 2006 to 58 million cubic yards; the amount of Canadian trash disposed of in the state's landfills also dropped 9 percent to 11 million cubic yards.

Robert McCann, press secretary for the Michigan DEQ, says officials welcome both decreases, but are unsure about the contributing factors. Total waste generated in the state decreased nearly 4 percent to 41 million cubic yards of waste from 43 cubic yards the previous year. “There's no concrete info from the report to pull,” he says. “We're not quite sure if it has more to do with increased recycling efforts, increased transportation costs or a number of other things.”

Despite the decrease, Canada remains the largest source of waste exports to Michigan and accounts for 19 percent of all waste disposed in the state's landfills — nearly 9 million cubic yards of waste more than Indiana, which is the second-largest source of out-of-state waste. In 2007, the DEQ proposed an update to the state's solid waste policy that called for stronger reporting requirements — including further detail about where waste is generated and where it goes — that could explain such trends. McCann says he's unsure when the proposal will be considered and if it will be passed.

According to the report, the state's landfills have approximately 22 years of capacity remaining. Making smart decisions regarding the need for landfill expansion hinges on correctly interpreting the results of the DEQ reports, McCann adds.

(All figures in cubic yards)
FISCAL YEAR MICHIGAN CANADA OTHER STATES TOTALS
FY 1996 36,505,045 2,654,575 3,035,192 42,194,812
FY 1997 37,992,630 2,504,879 3,076,513 43,574,022
FY 1998 40,944,471 2,548,815 3,186,352 46,679,638
FY 1999 45,348,317 2,342,791 4,032,094 51,723,202
FY 2000 47,688,909 4,216,814 5,216,114 57,121,837
FY 2001 47,613,432 5,894,738 5,977,769 59,485,939
FY 2002 45,330,685 6,607,856 4,886,587 56,825,128
FY 2003 46,488,424 9,433,028 6,079,367 62,000,819
FY 2003 46,488,424 9,433,028 6,079,367 62,000,819
FY 2004 45,443,712 11,558,899 6,577,403 63,580,014
FY 2005 45,374,307 11,878,091 6,539,722 63,792,120
FY 2006 42,852,023 12,084,907 6,950,625 61,887,555
FY 2007 41,049,672 10,982,984 6,171,854 58,204,510
SOURCE: MICHIGAN DEQ