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Canadian Waste in Michigan Essay

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Canadian Waste in Michigan

In 1986, a waste treaty between Canada and the U.S. was signed by American lawmakers concerning the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste. Under the terms of this treaty, the EPA is to receive notification of these shipments, and then would have 30 days to consent or object to the shipment. Since 1986 Canada has shipped its garbage to Michigan to be dumped into landfills and the provisions of this treaty have never been enforced. But now is the time for them to be enforced and stop the importing of Canada's garbage.

As of January 1, 2003, the Canadian city of Toronto, Ontario started to ship one hundred percent of its garbage into the landfills of Michigan. In 2003, Toronto exported garbage at a
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Carleton Farms Landfill in Sumpter Township in southwest Wayne County, where the population is 11,856, receives one hundred percent of Toronto's garbage. Our laws that Michigan implies on our garbage do not imply on Toronto's garbage. Our laws prohibit us from discarding bottles and cans but allow Toronto and others from out of state to do it. Another problem with importing trash is the havoc it wreaks on our roads. Toronto does not pay so much as a nickel for repairing the roads that it destroys. The constant flow of trucks creates both noise and air pollution and also lowers property values. Although American lawmakers have decided to enforce the treaty from 1986, politicians in Lansing, Michigan and Washington still have not found a way to ban imported waste that doesn't violate the international treaty or does not unconstitutionally restrain trade.

Inspections of the garbage trucks, however, have been stepped-up since January 1, 2003. The Department of Environmental Quality conducts inspections at the border, which include radioactive detecting equipment, and follows the trucks to the dump to ensure proper disposal. Since September 2003 seven trucks have been turned back because equipment detected radioactive material in the waste. One truck, which was dripping blood, was found to be illegally taking medical waste to Carleton Farms Landfill. The Drug Enforcement Agency reported one of the largest drug busts in
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