You can blame this on Republicans as long as you like. The simple
fact remains that under the dormant commerce clause of our federal
Constitution, states (including Michigan) are prohibited from passing the kind
of legislation that would discriminate against out-of-state waste. This
issue has been addressed head on by the Supreme Court. The only body
that can prohibit Canadian waste from entering the US is Congress.
>>> "Daniel Farough" <Dfarough@house.mi.gov>
message from "Daniel Farough"
can send a message urging Republicans to stop stonewalling anti-imported
garbage legislation with parliamentary tricks by going to:www.trashometer.com
Monday, February 2, 2004
Contact: Dan Farough
Phone: (517) 373-2093
House Dems: New DEQ Report Shows 35 Percent Jump in
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.
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
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
"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
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.
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
* And, since then, more than 5.16 million tons of
imported trash, or 9.8 tons every minute, have been dumped in
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
"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
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