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E-M:/ Trash Imports to Michigan Skyrocket



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Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <Dfarough@house.mi.gov>
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You can send a message urging Republicans to stop stonewalling anti-imported garbage legislation with parliamentary tricks by going to:

 www.trashometer.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 2, 2004	                                     Contact: Dan Farough
Phone: (517) 373-2093
Cell: 517-303-5270
  	

House Dems: New DEQ Report Shows 35 Percent Jump in Imported Trash 
GOP failure to act keeps trash trucks rolling 
 
LANSING ---- A disturbing state report released today reveals a 35 percent overall jump in the amount of Canadian and out-of-state trash being dumped in Michigan landfills in the last year, including a 43 percent increase in the amount of Canadian trash alone.
"For more than a year, House Republican leaders have stonewalled our efforts to stop the importation of trash into Michigan from other states and Canada," House Democratic Leader Dianne Byrum (Onondaga) said. "Unfortunately for the people of Michigan, this report shows that we are still being buried in imported waste, while Republican leaders sit on their hands and do nothing."
The report, released by the state Department of Environmental Quality, means that instead of 200 Canadian garbage trucks rolling into our state each day, Michigan now gets 286 trash trucks from Canada alone crossing our border every single day.
In fact, the Trash-O-Meter --- a device developed by House Democrats that measures in real time the amount of imported waste coming into Michigan has had to recalibrate to calculate the higher numbers. According to the Trash-O-Meter, 5.16 million tons of trash or more than 147,000 truckloads of imported trash were dumped into Michigan landfills in the last year.
Representative Kathleen Law (D-Gibraltar), a leader in the anti-trash fight, vowed to keep up the pressure on Republican leaders to "stop listening to their friends in the waste industry and start listening to the people they represent."

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"We are not going to stop until the trucks stop," Law said. "This report debunks the waste industry's claims that less and less foreign trash is coming here. The truth is that they're still trying to turn our state into a dumping ground. We're going to fight them every step of the way, hopefully with bipartisan support. If not, we certainly have the public's support."
The lawmakers also praised Governor Jennifer Granholm for highlighting the anti-trash fight in her State of the State address and for urging the Republican-controlled Legislature to pass the anti-Canadian trash bills that have been held up for more than a year.
Rep. Paul Gieleghem (D-Clinton Township), who has spearheaded the anti-Canadian trash effort, renewed his call to pass House Bill 4099, which would add pop bottles and cans to the list of items prohibited from disposal in Michigan landfills.
"My bill to add pop bottles and cans to the list of items prohibited from disposal in Michigan landfills is the key to pushing back the rising tide of Canadian trash into Michigan," Gieleghem said.
The Democratic lawmakers also expressed gratitude to the concerned citizens of Michigan for pressuring reluctant Republican leaders into acting on anti-trash legislation that Democrats have been championing for more than a year. 
>From the beginning, the anti-trash bills earned bipartisan support. However, the bills were stalled by House Republican leaders since they were introduced on Jan 29, 2003.
*	Since then, House Democrats have held 15 Town Hall meetings across the state; 
*	Since then, House Democrats introduced a Trash-O-Meter device that measures in real time the amount of imported waste coming into Michigan; 
*	Since then, House Democrats have held more than a dozen press conferences; and, launched a yard sign campaign and petition drive.
*	And, since then, more than 5.16 million tons of imported trash, or 9.8 tons every minute, have been dumped in Michigan.
Added pressure came when a statewide grassroots campaign spearheaded by local Democratic Party organizations in places stretching from Monroe County near the Ohio border all the way to Marquette in the Upper Peninsula picked up steam as citizens rallied in support of the anti-trash legislation.
"In golf, they put you on the clock when you're playing too slowly," Law said. "The DEQ report, the Trash-O-Meter and the people of Michigan are putting House Republican leaders on the clock. We need to pass anti-Canadian trash legislation before the clock runs out."

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Dan Farough
Press Secretary
House Democratic Communications
517-373-2093
dfarough@house.mi.gov


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