PA STOP OUT-OF-STATE TRASH
Ridge says PA trash imports up by 12.8 percent in 1998 -
underscores need for Congress to allow PA to limit trash imports
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 10, 1999) - Gov. Tom Ridge today asked Pennsylvania's
Congressional Delegation to help enact legislation allowing states to limit out-of-state trash.
"Out-of-state trash is one of the most pressing problems in Pennsylvania," Gov. Ridge said.
"The solution lies down here - in Washington, with Congress.
I shared with our delegation the latest numbers - out-of-state trash imports were up by 12.8
percent last year. This is outrageous.
We've done the right thing in Pennsylvania. We've planned for our disposal needs.
We lead the states in recycling. We're taking care of our own waste. But others haven't.
"States like Pennsylvania need relief from the parade of trash trucks on our highways.
States like Pennsylvania want the ability to limit the amount of trash imported into our states."
The amount of out-of-state waste disposed at Pennsylvania municipal waste facilities
in 1998 was 9.8 million tons, up from nearly 8.7 million tons in 1997 -
an increase of 1.1 million tons, or 12.8 percent.
In 1997, total imports increased 9.6 percent; in 1996, total imports increased 18 percent;
in 1995, 16 percent; and in 1994, 17 percent.
Out-of-state waste amounted to about 42 percent of the total waste disposed
in Pennsylvania in 1998.
In 1998, Pennsylvania recycled 2.4 million tons of waste - or 26.2 percent.
More states export to Pennsylvania than any other state.
Since September 1994, when the first Interstate Waste bill passed the U.S. House,
34.7 million tons of garbage has come into Pennsylvania landfills from neighboring states.
"Congress must pass legislation allowing states to limit out-of-state trash," Gov. Ridge said.
"Without such federal legislation, states such as Pennsylvania cannot pass laws
limiting the import of waste from other states."
The Ridge Administration also is working to limit the impact of all trash in
Pennsylvania communities. Gov. Ridge said he has new optimism that the General Assembly
soon will be moving forward his plan to cap landfill capacity,
put a freeze on new landfills and address transportation issues.
"Legislative leaders - who previously opposed my legislation - have indicated that
it could move this spring," Gov. Ridge.
"This will help Pennsylvania manage its own waste - but it's up to Congress
to limit out-of-state trash."
On Sept. 8, 1998, Gov. Ridge called on the General Assembly to pass his proposal to impose
three-year freeze on new permits for municipal waste landfills and
to place a permanent cap on
the state's waste-disposal capacity.
He again called for the General Assembly to pass this plan
during his budget address Feb. 2.
Also on Sept. 8, Gov. Ridge directed the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
to double surprise inspections of waste haulers.
Pennsylvania recently led an eight-state cooperative effort to crack down on unsafe waste haulers.
The first national multi-state inspections of 3,768 waste trucks resulted in
State Police and environmental officials handing out more than 4,100 safety and
Gov. Ridge has asked for and received agreement from New York City officials
not to send city waste from Fresh Kills Landfill
to Pennsylvania facilities that do not have host community agreements to accept New York City waste.
Gov. Ridge fully expects New York City officials to honor their word not to send waste
to Pennsylvania communities that do not agree to accept it.
"Pennsylvania will continue to do the right thing and take responsibility for our own garbage,"
Gov. Ridge said. "All we ask is that others take that same responsibility
and dispose of their own trash - not just ship it off to be someone else's problem."
(extracted from: http://www.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Governor/Press_Releases/990310a.html)