Cablegate: Ontario's Deadline to Eliminate Trash Shipments to Michigan
DE RUEHON #0090 0392136
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 082136Z FEB 10
FM AMCONSUL TORONTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0101
INFO ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/HQ EPA WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS TORONTO 000090
STATE FOR H/SENATE AFFAIRS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELTN SENV PGOV PREL CA US
SUBJECT: Ontario's Deadline to Eliminate Trash Shipments to Michigan
REF: TORONTO 33
Sensitive But Unclassified -- Please protect accordingly.
1. (SBU) Summary: It is unclear whether Ontario will meet its
2006 commitment to phase out shipments of municipal trash to
Michigan by the end of 2010 (reftel). The Province has yet to
release up-to-date figures for the last two years, despite
assurances that the effort is on track. As part of its waste
diversion strategy, Ontario's Ministry of Environment has proposed
an extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework. End Summary.
2. (SBU) An Ontario official told Post on February 8 that the
Province is still on target to meet its commitment to eliminate
shipments of municipal solid waste to Michigan by the end of 2010.
However, when Post asked for data reflecting the Province's
assertions that they would meet the 2010 deadline on February 2,
and again on February 8, Provincial officials declined to provide
updated data on waste shipments to Michigan. Provincial
environmental officials admitted in a February 1 meeting that it
had been "a while" since they briefed Michigan Congressional staff
on the status of Ontario's efforts to phase-out garbage shipments.
3. (SBU) Roughly half of Ontario's trash comes from the Greater
Toronto Area (GTA). Shipments of waste from the City of Toronto
(at the center of the GTA) to Michigan began in 1998, and increased
when Toronto's only active landfill closed in 2002. In late 2009,
Toronto announced that it would not reach a 70% waste diversion
target it set for 2010, partly due to a protracted civic strike in
the summer of 2009.
4. (SBU) In order to facilitate waste diversion, Ontario is moving
towards an extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework, where
those who manufacture products and their packaging are responsible
for managing the associated waste. The comment period for the
Province's EPR proposal closed on February 1, 2010.