In a testament to all those blue and green bins that line Toronto streets on garbage day, the city has cut the number of Michigan-bound trash loads by half in the past five years.

Some 70 tractor-trailer loads of the stuff left over after those diversion programs do their job still go to Michigan each day, says Geoff Rathbone, general manager of solid waste.

That’s a lot — but half the 140 trucks that headed down Highway 401 daily in 2003. And it represents progress on the way to eliminating Michigan shipments altogether by the end of 2010.

In large measure, it’s proof of the diligence of thousands of Toronto homeowners who willingly separate their garbage each week.

“Maybe 60 per cent of the decrease is due to waste diversion,” said Rathbone, who released the figures yesterday to the public works committee.

Some of the material that used to go to Michigan is now being diverted to the Green Lane dump near St. Thomas that the city bought three years ago.

If Toronto hits its target of diverting 70 per cent of its solid waste from the dump by the end of next year, the Green Lane landfill is expected to last until 2034.

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