Canadian garbage coming back from the Philippines is heading to Burnaby to be incinerated.
Metro Vancouver says the 1,500 tonnes of trash in 69 containers will be incinerated at its Waste-to-Energy Facility before the end of the summer. Environment and Climate Change Canada said the plant was the preferred choice for disposal because it’s close to the Port of Vancouver and because it can receive international waste.
“It adds some extra work, but the Waste-to-Energy Facility is the only facility where international waste is directed from shipping and the airline industry,” Zero Waste Committee chair and Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese said.
The facility handles 260,000 tonnes of garbage per year, roughly a quarter of the region’s garbage, and converts it to enough electricity to power 16,000 homes a year.
While the trash is equivalent to two days worth of processing, Froese says it will be mixed in with other trash and destroyed over a two-week period.
“The facility is in operation every day and it’s well within the required limits of emissions and we don’t expect that this would be any different from what’s already going through there,” he said.
The $375,000 price tag to destroy the trash will be paid for through federal tax dollars.
The trash is what is left of 103 containers that were sent to the Philippines by a Canadian company, Chronic Inc, in 2013 and 2014 and falsely labelled as plastics for recycling. The company has since gone out of business and it has been difficult for government to recoup costs because the company may not have violated any Canadian laws.
The Philippines rejected Canada’s late-June timeline for repatriating its garbage, and is moving forward with plans to ship it back to Canada itself no later than next week.
By Dominic C. Odoh
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