According to the 2017 solid waste report from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan accepted 10.5 million cubic yards of trash from Canada in 2017, up from 8.8 million cubic yards in the previous year.
Waste from Canada accounted for 21 percent of the 50.6 million cubic yards of trash that went into Michigan landfills in 2017, according to the report. The total amount of waste added to landfill was up 3 percent from 2016 totals.
Imported waste levels are much higher in Michigan than in nearby states, due primarily to the state’s relatively low disposal rates. Out-of-state waste in 2017 was actually 14 percent lower than the 2016 total, per the report.
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Homegrown waste from Michigan households, businesses and industry makes up the remaining 37.7 million cubic yards of trash added to landfills in 2017. That is a slight increase from the 37.4 million cubic yards thrown away in 2016.
The 10.5 million cubic yards of trash from Canada is the largest volume recorded since 2008.
The import of trash, often credited to the state's lower disposal rates, has long been a hot-button issue in Michigan, particularly when it involved garbage coming across the state's international border.