GLOBAL WASTE TRADE
Waste elimination, reduction, and recycling programs are undermined by nations who manage waste by exporting it to other countries. It is particularly alarming to note that some nations who are promoting Zero Waste goals, are also exporting their waste to other countries.
SEE: BASEL ACTION NETWORK http://www.ban.org/ban_news/index.html (World waste trade news and information)
U.S. FOREIGN WASTE IMPORTS:
Since 1997, the 50 states and Washington, D.C., imported 48 million tons more waste than they exported, according to data in Biocycle managzine, an industry publication. This waste appears to be coming from outside of the United States.
Under U.S. law, there is no general prohibition against the import of hazardous or non-hazardous waste from other countries, or the export of waste to other countries. There are, however, rules regulating shipments of hazardous waste http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/international/index.htm.
Only hazardous waste is tracked by the EPA. Non-hazardous waste import data is not reported.
TOTALS OF STATE WASTE IMPORTS & EXPORTS:
The annual total "imported" waste by states minus the total "exported" waste by states, appears to be the amount of imported foreign "municipal" waste. This does not include other types of foreign waste imports.
Data source: BIOCYCLE , April 1998, 1999, 2000
Only Congressman Paul E. Gillmor (R) from Ohio has offered legislation to stop foreign waste imports. The following proposed legislation addresses the issue of foreign waste imports, but not waste exports: See: LEGISLATION - HR 379 IH (search 'THOMAS' for legislation) / 106th CONGRESS / 1st Session / H. R. 379 / To permit States to prohibit the disposal of solid waste imported from other nations./ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES / January 19, 1999 / Mr. GILLMOR introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce.
8/18/2000: TOXIC WASTE FROM MEXICO ON THE RISE (source: SolidWaste.com) Toxic waste produced in Mexico by assembly plants along the border (maquiladoras) and shipped to the United States for disposal has increased 300% in the past two years, said environmental protection officials from both nations in a meeting in El Paso, TXon Thursday.
VIDEO: Michael Thomas Productions The Ash Barge Odyssey (Year 2000)--The remaining 3000 tons of Philadelphia's incinerated ash, which was removed from a beach in Gonaives, Haiti where it was dumped 10 years ago, is now holed-up in a hopper barge in the St. Lucie Canal in Stuart, Florida. A 14-year saga still remains unresolved for the people of Haiti, the residents of Florida and the city of Philadelphia. http://www.michaelthomasprod.com/fla.html
ENVIRO WASTE TRADE ORGANIZATIONS:
Origins of the Convention - In the late 1980s, a tightening of
environmental regulations in industrialized countries led to a dramatic rise in
the cost of hazardous waste disposal. Searching for cheaper ways to get rid of
the wastes, toxic traders began shipping hazardous waste to developing
countries and to Eastern Europe. When this activity was revealed, international
outrage led to the drafting and adoption of the Basel Convention.
During The Next Decade (2000-2010), the Convention will build on this framework by emphasizing full implementation and enforcement of treaty commitments. The other area of focus will be the minimization of hazardous waste generation. Recognizing that the long-term solution to the stockpiling of hazardous wastes is a reduction in the generation of those wastes - both in terms of quantity and hazardousness - Ministers meeting in December of 1999 set out guidelines for the Conventions activities during the Next Decade.