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Canada garbage from PH arrives in Vancouver

THE Anna Maersk arrives at Deltaport in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada to off load 69 containers of garbage that were returned from the Philippines. (AFP)

THE Anna Maersk arrives at Deltaport in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada to off load 69 containers of garbage that were returned from the Philippines. (AFP)

VANCOUVER, Canada (AFP) – Tons of Canadian garbage left in the Philippines for years arrived back home Saturday, putting an end to a festering diplomatic row that highlighted how Asian nations have grown tired of being the world’s trash dump.

A cargo vessel loaded with about 69 containers of rubbish docked in a port on the outskirts of Vancouver, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

The trash will be incinerated at a waste-to-energy facility, local officials said.

The conflict dates back to 2013 and 2014, when a Canadian company shipped containers mislabeled as recyclable plastics to the Philippines.

The shipment actually contained a mixture of paper, plastics, electronics, and household waste, including kitchen trash and diapers, even though Philippine law prohibits imports of mixed plastics and household trash.

Some of the waste was disposed of in the Philippines, but much of it stewed in local ports for years.

The issue polluted bilateral relations for years, but tensions came to a head in April when President Duterte threatened to “declare war” against Canada unless it reclaimed the garbage.

Canada missed a May 15 deadline to repatriate the rubbish, but then made arrangements soon thereafter to move it back to Canadian soil.

Canada’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told reporters on Thursday: “We committed with the Philippines and we’re working closely with them.”

Global concern over plastic pollution has been spurred by shocking images of waste-clogged rivers in Southeast Asia and accounts of dead sea creatures found with kilos of refuse in their stomachs.

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