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Toronto v. Republic Services, Inc., 2006 CanLII 26585 (ON S.C.)

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Republic Services

Toronto v. Republic Services, Inc., 2006 CanLII 26585 (ON S.C.) Republic Services wins significant victory in dispute with City of Toronto. In recent years, countless truckloads of the City's sludge (a non-solid waste) have also been delivered to Republic's landfill site pursuant to arrangements between Republic and a third party. Republic closed its landfill site to sludge August 1st in order to comply with a Michigan environmental order.   Although the City had been advised of the closure in May, it claimed that it had been unable to make alternate arrangements for all of its sludge. City representatives suggested that, unless Republic continued to take the sludge, it would likely have to be dumped in Lake Ontario. Accordingly, the City sought a Court order that would have required Republic to continue to accept the sludge. Ontario Superior Court Justice Katherine Swinton announced on Friday, August 4, 2006 that she would not issue the order requested by the City. Based on the evidence before her, she found that the City did not have a strong prima facie case that Republic was obliged to take sludge under the solid waste agreement and that the "extraordinary" order the City had sought was not appropriate. Justice Swinton considered evidence that Republic's continuing acceptance of the sludge would likely violate Michigan laws and pose serious environmental engineering problems. She held that the company should not be made subject to a Court order that, if complied with, would risk violating Michigan law. As well, she was aware that City politicians were assuring the public that no sludge would be dumped in the Lake. Fasken Martineau lawyers Samuel Rickett and Murray Braithwaite argued the case for Republic Services.



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