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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 YEARMICHIGANCANADAOTHER STATESTOTALS
FY 199636,505,0452,654,5753,035,19242,194,812
FY 199737,992,6302,504,8793,076,51343,574,022
FY 199840,944,4712,548,8153,186,35246,679,638
FY 199945,348,3172,342,7914,032,09451,723,202
FY 200047,688,9094,216,8145,216,11457,121,837
FY 200147,613,4325,894,7385,977,76959,485,939
FY 200245,330,6856,607,8564,886,58756,825,128
FY 200346,488,4249,433,0286,079,36762,000,819
FY 200346,488,4249,433,0286,079,36762,000,819
FY 200445,443,71211,558,8996,577,40363,580,014
FY 200545,374,30711,878,0916,539,72263,792,120
FY 200642,852,02312,084,9076,950,62561,887,555
FY 200741,049,67210,982,9846,171,85458,204,510
SOURCE: MICHIGAN DEQ