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After a series of stops along the shipping route, the ship docked in Taiwan where the containers full of garbage were offloaded and transferred to a larger ship
The piles of trash at the centre of a longstanding international dispute between the Phillippines and Canada are well on their way to port in British Columbia, confirms a spokesperson for the Canadian environment minister.
After years of rotting away at port in Manila, 69 shipping containers of garbage left on a container ship called the Bavaria May 30, according to Sabrina Kim, speaking on behalf of minister Catherine McKenna.
After a series of stops along the shipping route, the Bavaria docked in Taiwan where the containers were offloaded and transferred to a larger ship, the Anna Maersk. As of Tuesday, that ship, which can be tracked online , is near a Korean island, Jeju, near the waters between South Korea and Japan. The garbage is expected to reach Vancouver by the end of June, said Kim, where it will be transferred to a waste energy plant. “I have full confirmation from our officials that it is fully on track,” she said.
The containers were the last of more than 100 that a private company shipped to the Phillippines in 2013 and 2014 — containers labelled as containing recyclable materials but actually which contained household garbage, thereby setting off a customs dispute from which President Rodrigo Duterte has tried to make political hay.
Earlier this year, Duterte threatened to declare war on Canada if it didn’t take out the garbage. After years of negotiations, including the establishment of a working group with officials from both countries, Canada announced in mid-May that it had hired a firm to dispose of the waste. The contract value is more than $1.1 million. The private company isn’t being held liable because it no longer exists.
The Post contacted the Montreal office of Bolloré Logistics Canada, which was awarded the government contract to bring back the containers, but the company declined to comment.
The smaller ship, the Bavaria, arrived back at port in Manila on Monday, carrying different cargo. This spurred rumours to proliferate online that Canada had allowed the garbage to circle back to Manila, and a report from Canadian website The Rebel, which sent a correspondent to capture footage of the vessel.
Kim said her department had responded to The Rebel’s request on Monday evening, clarifying that the trash was on its way.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019