Eco group welcomes Trudeau’s move to take trash back home

Nov. 16, 2017

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in his opening remarks during the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN)-Canada 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center on November 14, 2017. (PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

TAGUM CITY, Philippines—After four years, the 103 shipping containers in the port of Manila containing household waste may soon find its way back home after Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it might be repatriated.

The Canadian Prime Minister on Tuesday said that “theoretically” it is possible to ship back the trash to Canada. He, however, pointed out that there are still some questions around like who would pay for it.

“Canadian legal regulations prevented us from being able to receive the waste back to Canada. We had legal barriers and restrictions that prevented us from taking it back, but that’s done now,” Trudeau told reporters at the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits.

“I expressed to President Duterte, and I have the assurance of my officials both here in the Philippines and back in Canada, that we will continue to work on this and hopefully resolve this situation,” he said.

Environmental advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition said that it welcomed the pronouncement made by Trudeau.

“We welcome the fact that he discussed this drawn-out dumping controversy with President Rodrigo Duterte and committed to following up on the matter,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition in a statement on Wednesday, November 14.

But while Trudeau has reassured the Philippines that it would dispose of its reeking garbage, Lucero said that Canada must do it with a “greater urgency” and ensure that such “unethical and unlawful dumping” wouldn’t happen again in the future.

The environment group said that it would “remain alert” and not let its guard down since the re-export of the trash shipments is “only a theoretical possibility at this time.”

“Compared to the vague statement he made in 2015 on the sidelines of the APEC Summit, what Trudeau said this time offers a glimmer of hope for a country like ours that are struggling with our own garbage woes,” Lucero observed.

Trudeau disappointed environmentalists when he vaguely stated in 2015 that a “Canadian solution” is being developed, but made no firm declaration of re-importing Canada’s garbage.(

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