Quezon City Council Urged to Declare Canadian Garbage “Basura Non Grata” in Payatas

A Quezon City-based environmental watchdog
group told councilors at a public hearing this morning to declare the smuggled
rubbish from Canada as “basura non grata” in Payatas landfill.

The EcoWaste Coalition coined the term “basura non grata” to censure the
illegally shipped garbage from Canada whose entry into the country is
unwelcomed and in blatant violation of environmental and tariff and customs

It will be recalled that 55 container vans of mixed garbage falsely declared as
“plastic scraps” from Canada arrived at the Manila port from June to September
2013.   Forty-eight more containers of such illegal garbage
shipments, also from Canada, entered the country in December 2013 to January

The 55 containers were consigned to Chronic Plastics located in Valenzuela City
and the other 48 containers to Live Green Enterprises based in San Fernando

“We fully support Resolution No. 19CC-1131 and call upon the members of the
City Council to rally behind this measure to preempt any foreign waste dumping
in Payatas,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition.

District 1 Councilor Dorothy Delarmente introduced  Resolution No.
19CC-1131, which, if adopted, would  “express strong disapproval against
any plan to dispose foreign waste at the Payatas Sanitary Landfill.”

“To hammer home the message that our country is not a global dumpsite, the
Council should even declare the imported trash from Canada as ‘basura non
grata’ that should be shipped back without further delay,” Lucero added.

According to the resolution, “the Quezon City Government stands firm on its
commitment to
protect the human  health and the environment in line with the state
policy affirming the people’s right to health and to a balanced and healthful
ecology as provided for in the Constitution.”

“The Quezon City Council finds the dumping of foreign waste into our country
as  totally inexcusable and unacceptable and demands that such unethical
and unlawful act be brought to a halt,” it stated.

Some 20 environmental, labor and women’s groups based in Quezon City had
earlier expressed support to the said resolution.

These groups include Ang NARS, Arugaan, Associated Labor Unions-TUCP, Bangon
Kalikasan Movement, Ban Toxics, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino-NCR,
Citizens’ Organizations Concerned with Advocating Philippine Environmental
Sustainability, EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator
Alternatives, Green Convergence, Greenpeace,  Health Care Without Harm,
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, Mother Earth Foundation, Oceana
Philippines, Piglas Kababaihan, Public Services Labor Independent
Confederation, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, WomanHealth
Philippines and Zero Waste Philippines.

The illegal garbage shipments were in violation of the Tariff and Customs Code
of the Philippines, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Administrative Order 1994-28 on the Importation of Recyclable Materials
Containing Hazardous Substances, Republic Act 6969 (Toxic Substances and
Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act) and Republic Act 9003 (Ecological
Solid Waste Management Act).

The illegal shipments also contravened the Basel Convention on the Control of
Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, which also
includes “wastes collected from households.”