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News Release

Environmental Groups Warn that More Canadian Trash is Coming;
Activists Condemn City of Toronto Plans to Issue Long-Term Trash Contract

July 14, 1999


Jeff Surfus (734) 426-1984
Mike Garfield (734) 761-3186 x104

Two Michigan environmental groups today warned the residents of southeast Michigan that the City of Toronto, Ontario is considering making Michigan the long-term disposal option for all of their municipal solid waste. The Network of Waste Activists Stopping Trash Exports (NO WASTE) and the Ecology Center have learned that two companies who operate landfills in southeast Michigan, Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) and Republic Services, have expressed interest in and have met the qualifications to bid for Toronto's long-term disposal contract. The Toronto Metro Council is expected to authorize an RFP (Request for Proposals) to be sent to BFI, Republic, and other bidders today.

Currently, BFI's Arbor Hills Landfill in eastern Washtenaw County receives Toronto's trash on a 5-year interim basis while Toronto considers its long-term options. NO WASTE and the Ecology Center have discovered that BFI, in its Expression of Interest (EOI) submittal to the City of Toronto has listed this landfill, along with landfills in Wayne, Monroe, and Genesee Counties, as long-term disposal options for Toronto trash. Republic has listed landfills in Wayne and Genesee Counties in their EOI submittal.

"This is exactly what we feared when we learned that Toronto was sending their garbage here on an interim basis," says Jeff Surfus, coordinator of NO WASTE. "Now BFI and Republic are going for the really big money in the long-term contract. BFI is making at least $65 million in the interim contract and it's inconceivable how much they'll make on the long-term contract. And it's the citizens of Southeast Michigan who will pay the price!"

Environmentalists in Michigan and Ontario are calling on Toronto to expand its recycling and waste reduction programs. At a press conference today in Toronto, a coalition of organizations in Ontario, Michigan, Ohio, and New York announced that they are working together to prevent Toronto from dumping or burning its garbage in their communities.

"We don't want Toronto's garbage here in southeast Michigan, but we don't want them dumping it recklessly in the far reaches of northeastern Ontario either," said Mike Garfield, director of the Ecology Center. "Toronto needs to deal with its waste close to home."

Toronto has set up an 800 number to receive comments and will continue to seek comments from potentially impacted communities until August 27, 1999.

To register comments with the City of Toronto, call:


Alternatively, people can fax comments to Toronto at (416) 392-2974. Comments can also be sent via email to:

Finally, comments can be mailed to:

Tracey Ehl Harrison, Senior Consultation Coordinator
City of Toronto - Works and Emergency Services Department
55 John Street
18th Floor, Station 1180
Toronto, ON M5V 3C6

For more information contact:

Jeff Surfus
8447 Boenaro Court
Dexter, MI 48130
(734) 426-1984

Mike Garfield
Ecology Center of Ann Arbor
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 761-3186 ext. 104
Ecology Center of Ann Arbor