Back From the Bin

In the July story "Knowing its Limits", ; Waste Age reported on Macomb County, Mich., forging a deal with Waste Management to limit the amount of Canadian waste coming into the Pine Tree Acres Landfill in Lenox Township. Shortly before the county commission's approval, Carleton Farms Landfill stopped accepting sewage sludge from Toronto, igniting concern that the sludge could possibly end up at Pine Tree Acres. In response, County Commissioner Brian Brdak proposed an addition to the agreement with Waste Management that would have prohibited Toronto sludge from being sent to the landfill, but the addition was rejected.

Following the sludge ban, Toronto pursued a court order that would have required Republic Services, which operates the landfill and had stopped taking the waste to Michigan, to resume hauling the sludge in spite of the ban. Ontario Superior Court Justice Katherine Swinton ruled in Republic's favor, explaining that contractually the hauler was not obligated to transport the waste. Michigan officials since have urged landfills in the state not to accept large quantities of sludge from their neighbor to the north.

Also in July, we ran “Under-the-Lid Deal?,” a story about San Jose, Calif., Mayor Ronald Gonzales and Norcal Waste Systems being indicted for allegedly conspiring to misrepresent the true cost of a recycling contract to the City Council. In August, the council unanimously agreed not to renew its contract with Norcal. The council instead awarded the six-year hauling deal to Garden City Sanitation, but voted to keep Norcal recycling subcontractor California Waste Solutions on as the recycling operator. Gonzales has not resigned as mayor.