Michigan is not the only state that imports solid wastes. In fact, two states import more garbage than Michigan. These are Pennslyvania and Virginia.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS), at the direction of Congress, looked into the whole issue of waste importation on a national basis. The resulting report, Interstate Shipment of Municipal Solid Waste: 2002 Update, is an excellent source of information on just how much solid waste is crossing state and national lines.
The following table, from the CRS Report, summarizes the extensive amount of wastes that are being imported by various states:
Imports of Municipal Solid Waste, 2001(in tons)
|New Jersey||f 892,394|
|South Carolina||h 579,299|
|North Dakota||f 103,382|
addition, Pennsylvania received 1,938,857 tons of other waste
(industrial waste, construction/demolition [C&D] waste, ash, asbestos and
sludge) from out of state at MSW landfills in 2001.
b Virginia also imported 720,782 tons of other waste, mostly sludge, incinerator ash, and C&D waste in 2001.
c 10/1/2000 - 9/30/2001.
d Converted from cubic yards using 3.3 cu. yds. = 1 ton.
e Indiana also imported 172,410 tons of non-municipal solid waste, primarily C&D and industrial waste in 2000.
g 7/1/2001 - 6/30/2002.
h 7/1/2000 - 6/30/2001.
i As reported by BioCycle magazine.
j 4/1/2001 - 3/31/2002.
l Connecticut import total does not include waste from New York that was received at a Connecticut transfer station and re-exported to other states for disposal.
m Maryland also imported 422,945 tons of C&D waste.
n 9/1/2000 - 8/31/2001.
o Utah landfills have generally imported more industrial than municipal solid waste.
Source: CRS, based on telephone interviews with and data provided by state program officials.
Within Michigan, the bordering (or near-bordering) counties appear to be the largest importers of garbage. The Waste Mangement Division of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) requires that Michigan landfills submit information reporting the sources of wastes that they receive. Early each year MDEQ issues a report documenting the amounts of solid wastes landfilled in Michigan from the previous year, including wastes from out-of-state sources. The DEQ annual reports from the year 1996 through the current year are available here. NOTE THAT YOU MUST HAVE THE ADOBE ACROBAT READER TO VIEW THESE DOCUMENTS.
The following information, taken from the 2001 DEQ report, shows which counties import wastes from out of state:
Imports of Municipal Solid Waste, 2001(in cubic yards)