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Home » Ports » We are not your garbage dump. Duterte threatens Canada with war over trash
Photo of President Rodrigo Duterte
President Duterte has threatened "war" unless Canada takes back 2,500 containers full of waste

We are not your garbage dump. Duterte threatens Canada with war over trash

PortandTerminal.com, April 24, 2019

The president of the Philippines says if Canada doesn’t take back tonnes of trash within the next week he will “declare war” and ship the containers back himself.

According to a report by CNN Philippines, 103 containers holding 2,450 tons of trash were shipped to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014 from Canada. Much of it has been rotting in a port near Manila now for almost six years.

We’ll declare war against them, we can handle them anyway.

President Rodrigo Duterte

“I want a boat prepared,” Duterte said. “I’ll give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out or I will set sail.”

In 2013 the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in the Philippines seized 55 container vans declared by the importer, Jim Makris, to be filled with “scrap materials” from Ontario, Canada.

“We are not your garbage dump”

The containers were labelled as plastics for recycling, but inspectors in the Philippines found the garbage was not recyclable. The trash was declared illegal as the private Canada-based company responsible for shipping the cargo didn’t have import clearances.

The Philippines has been calling on Canada for years to take back its garbage. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in the past that he was “very much engaged in finding a solution” to the dumped waste.

“We are not your garbage dump,” said Romy Hidalgo, an official of EcoWaste Coalition, and the NGO (nongovernmental organization) representative to the National Solid Waste Management Commission in the Philippines.“We condemn in strongest possible terms this unabashed attempt to dump hazardous waste misrepresented as recyclable plastic into our country,” he said in a statement.

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