Sydney (VNA) – The Philippines’ customs officials recently seized at least seven garbage containers from Australian waste giant Cleanaway Resource Co at a southern port.
The shipment was scheduled to be destined for incineration at a local cement kiln. It was stopped and inspected by customs officials in the Mindanao container terminal after an inspector noticed it was labelled as both processed engineering fuel and municipal waste.
Talking to the media on May 23, a spokesperson for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte criticized that the action to turn the Philippines into a dumping ground of trash is offensive.
However, a spokesman for Cleanaway told that allegations the shipment was illegal were incorrect, and that its joint venture partner Resource Co had “relevant approvals from Philippine authorities to export this fuel to the Philippines for use in cement kilns operated by Lefarge Holcim, a global cement manufacturer”.
The importer, Holcim Philippines, also said the shipment conformed to the Philippine Environment Management Bureau’s guidelines for the use of alternative or waste fuel in cement kilns, and had been cleared on May 21 by the Manila EMB office.
But the Mindanao Customs official who inspected the containers refused to clear them, saying they violate not only customs laws but potentially also the country’s Clean Air Act.
Recently, the Canadian Government signed a contract with shipping company Bollore Logistics Canada to bring containers of waste back to Canada from the Philippines.
The 69 consignments of waste were exported to Manila between 2013 and 2014, and labeled as containing plastics to be recycled in the Philippines, but were filled with domestic waste and electronics.-VNA