As the feds firm up plans to ship back dozens of Canadian containers filled with rotting garbage from the Philippines, officials have confirmed that at least some of it will be coming to Metro Vancouver.
Roughly 1,500 tonnes of the garbage will be disposed of at the Burnaby-based Waste-to-Energy Facility, according to Metro Vancouver.
Earlier this month, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to declare war with Canada after customs agents found that 103 shipping containers sent overseas in 2013 and 14 were labeled to contain recyclables but were actually filled with rotting garbage.
Canada’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said earlier this week that the containers will be shipped back by the end of June.
The 25-year-old Burnaby facility produces enough electricity to power roughly 16,000 homes by disposing of waste that cannot be reused or recycled, according to Metro Vancouver board chair Sav Dhaliwal.
“For decades, Metro Vancouver’s Waste-to-Energy Facility has responsibly processed waste material from the international airline and shipping industries, as well as other materials designated for secure disposal by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency,” Dhaliwal said.
“We have the technology and capacity to safely and efficiently handle this type of material.”
According to characterization studies conducted in the Philippines in 2014 and 2015, the material mostly consists of paper and mixed plastics with low levels of contaminants such as electronics and household waste.
Metro Vancouver is working with Environment and Climate Change Canada on the logistics of receiving the waste, expected to be disposed of by the end of summer.
The estimated 1,500 tonnes of waste are equivalent to about two days’ worth of processing capacity for the Waste-to-Energy Facility, and will be paid for to the tune of $250 per tonne by the federal government.