Trash to be shipped back to Canada any day soon – DENR
MANILA, Philippines — After missing President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadline, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Monday said the tons of Canadian trash illegally shipped to the Philippines would be returned to Canada any day soon.
Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said a transport company, Bolloré, had been contracted by the Canadian government to handle the shipping.
“We expect this to go faster and as of the moment, we see no hindrance to the shipping out of these containers [of trash]. It’s now only a matter of coordination,” Antiporda said.
The President had earlier given the Canadian government until May 15 to take out the trash, which was shipped to the country in batches of containers from 2013 to 2014.
The shipments were declared by its Philippine consignee, Chronic Plastics, as scrap materials for recycling, but instead included used adult diapers and electronic wastes.
After Ottawa failed to comply with Mr. Duterte’s deadline, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. recalled the Philippine ambassador and consuls in Canada.
The Canadian government expressed disappointment over the move, but said it remained committed to take back the trash.
Antiporda said the containers of trash had been declared seaworthy, though these would still need fumigation before they are loaded onto ships.
He said a contractor was being sought to fumigate the trash and that Canada would pay for it.
Coordination with countries where the garbage will pass through on its way to Canada is also needed, as mandated in the Basel Convention, a global treaty that controls the movement of hazardous wastes, Antiporda said.
“But shipping out these garbage is without prejudice to the existing cases [filed before the courts],” he said.
In June 2016, a Manila trial court ordered the Valenzuela City-based Chronic Plastics to ship the trash back to Canada.
Antiporda said two cases related to the illegal importation remained pending in court.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.