Today I found out that Michigan takes in trash from our neighbors. Here's how much.

In a forum on Detroit's's web page, I found out that Michigan is a dumping ground for Canada's trash. And while the business is all part of the trade agreement we have with them, I was wondering, what does Canada throw away? Old Gordon Lightfoot CDs?

Federally speaking, trash is a commodity that can be legally brought across borders. Michigan's legislature has tried several times to block the flow of Canadian trash into Michigan, to no avail.

The article answered all my questions about Canadian trash, except what's in it.

How much Canadian trash do we take in?

According to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), as of 2018 the largest source of waste imports to Michigan continued to be from Canada -- 9,770,385 cubic yards of solid waste. According to EGLE, as of 2018 Canadian waste imports equaled about 18.6 percent of all waste disposed in Michigan landfills. Waste reported from other states and Canada totaled about 23.9 percent of all solid waste disposed in Michigan landfills.

How much do we get paid for Canadian trash?

Gov. Rick Snyder worked to raise the “tipping fee," a much cooler term for landfill dumping fee, from 36 cents per ton to $3.99 per ton -- at one point he wanted it to be raised to $4.75 per ton. His administration wanted to use the money to fund environmental cleanup efforts. The proposal failed in the Republican-controlled legislature in 2018.

For comparison, Ohio collects $4.75 per ton of solid waste delivered to either a transfer or landfill facility. View more about how this compares to other Great Lakes states here: State Funding Mechanisms for Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling Programs in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin (EPA, June 2014).


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