OTTAWA – The Government of Canada has awarded a contract to Bolloré Logistics Canada to return the waste that created a diplomatic row from the Philippines back to Canada as soon as possible.
Bollore will retrieve 69 containers filled with household waste and electronic garbage. Originally 103 containers were shipped from Canada to the Philippines.
The company will begin preparation for shipping in the coming days. The removal will be complete by the end of June, as the waste must be safely treated to meet Canadian safety and health requirements.
The safe and environmentally sound disposal in Canada of the waste material will take place before the end of summer 2019. The costs associated with the preparation, transfer, shipment, and disposal of the waste will be assumed by the Government of Canada.
In 2016, Canada amended its regulations to prevent future exports of such material without a permit. Canada is also looking at ways to hold the responsible parties to account.
The Government of Canada is continuing negotiations with the Philippines government to ensure continued diplomatic relations.
“Canada values its deep and longstanding relationship with the Philippines and has been working closely with Filipino authorities to find a solution that is mutually acceptable,” said Catherine McKenna, minister of environment and climate change.
“Canada is pleased to announce that it has awarded a contract to bring the waste back promptly and to ensure its safe and environmentally sound disposal. Canada has amended its regulations to prevent this from happening again and is looking at ways to hold the responsible parties to account.”
In 2013 and 2014, a Canadian company, Chronic Inc., exported containers labelled as recyclable plastics to two importers in the Philippines; the shipment contained a mixture of plastics, metals, and paper, as well as household waste.
While the export of such material was allowed under Canadian regulations at the time, the import of mixed plastics and household waste is prohibited under Philippines regulations.
In 2016, courts in the Philippines ordered the importers to ship the containers back to Canada at their expense; the importers did not comply with the court order.
Recently, Canada and the Philippines established a joint technical working group to examine options for managing the waste; officials from both countries had a successful meeting in March in Ottawa.
On May 10, 2019, the Government of Canada issued a request for proposals to bring the waste back to Canada.
Following the competitive process, a contract was awarded to Bolloré Logistics Canada.
Preparation and transportation from the Philippines, and handling and disposal of the waste material in Canada, will be carried out in accordance with Canadian requirements, including those of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s International Waste Directive.
To prevent future exports of such material, Canada amended the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations in 2016. The amendments now apply to waste that is controlled or prohibited in the country of import; consequently, the shipment sent to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014 would be prohibited today.