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E-M:/ Trashometer press release

FYI – You may have heard this on the news – here is the actual press release:





Tuesday, August 19, 2003

                                     Contact: Dan Farough

                                    Phone: (517) 373-2093


                                         Cell: (517) 410-1555


“Trash-O-Meter” Sounds Alarm; Clock Ticks on Anti-Trash Bill

Dems target stalled legislation with garbage import measuring device


Dems unveil www.trashometer.com web site


LANSING --- House Democrats leading the fight against out-of-state and Canadian trash in Michigan today launched a specially designed timepiece --- the “Trash-O-Meter” --- to prompt action on stalled legislation aimed at stopping garbage importation into the state.

Modeled after the U.S. National Debt Clock in Times Square, the Trash-O-Meter is a working device to measure the amount of trash that enters Michigan in real time.

They also unveiled www.trashometer.com, a web site to promote anti-trash legislation and garner public input through e-mail.

Since the introduction of Democratic anti-trash legislation on Jan. 29th, the Trash-O-Meter shows us that more than 2.1 million tons of Canadian and out-of-state waste have been dumped in Michigan landfills.

For more than seven months, Democratic lawmakers, including State Representatives Paul Gieleghem (Clinton Township), Kathleen Law (Gibraltar) and Dan Paletko (Dearborn Heights), have campaigned tirelessly to stop the flow of Canadian and out-of-state trash into Michigan.

“The solution has been on lawmakers’ desks for months, yet there has been no action,” Gieleghem said. “The clock is ticking as more than 200 garbage trucks from Canada alone roll into our state every day. That’s why we’re unveiling the “Trash-O-Meter” --- to serve as a wake-up call to the Legislature that the time to ban out-of-state garbage is long overdue.”





The bills are: 

  • H.B. 4098, which allows Michigan to reject trash from states that have a regulatory system less stringent than the rules we impose on ourselves.
  • H.B. 4099, which adds returnable containers to the list of items prohibited from disposal in Michigan landfills.

 “The Trash-O-Meter tells us that more than seven tons of garbage cross our border every minute the Legislature fails to pass this legislation,” Law said. “We’re sitting on a ticking environmental time-bomb.”

 In coming weeks, House Democrats will take the Trash-O-Meter on a statewide tour to emphasize the serious impact of the Legislature’s delays.

 “As the Legislature dawdles, the Trash-O-Meter shows us that trash haulers are seizing the moment in a dangerous garbage industry game of ‘Beat the Clock,’” Paletko said. “The object of the waste industry lobbyists and their high-priced attorneys is to turn legislative time-wasting into “waste-time” to allow more and more garbage to cross our borders.”

For seven months, Gieleghem and other lawmakers have waged an intensive campaign and conducted 10 Trash Town Hall meetings in communities across the state, especially in those areas most affected by the importation of foreign and out-of-state garbage, to rally support for the bills.

 “The Trash-O-Meter’s constant ticking serves as a jarring soundtrack to remind lawmakers that every day of delay results in more mountains of garbage piling up in our beautiful state,” Law said.

Responding to a news report about the incredible amount of trash strewn about Toronto after a recent Rolling Stones concert and the fact that all of it will be dumped in Michigan landfills, Rep. Gieleghem said:

 “When it comes to Canadian and out-of-state garbage, time is NOT on our side,” Gieleghem said. “And the public can’t get no satisfaction.”





Anne Woiwode, Director

Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter

109 East Grand River Avenue,  Lansing, MI  48906

ph: 517-484-2372 fx: 517-484-3108 e: anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org

website:  http://michigan.sierraclub.org