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Indonesia sends 210 tons of ‘dirty’ waste back to Australia

Indonesia sends 210 tons of ‘dirty’ waste back to Australia
The trend of southeast Asian nations rejecting being used as dumping grounds for Western waste has continued with Indonesia declaring that it will ship eight containers of trash back to Australia.

The shipment landed in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city, in mid-June after being sent from Brisbane. It was supposed to contain only paper waste for recycling but inspectors found that it was mixed with various types of rubbish, including domestic and electronic waste, oil, plastic bottles and diapers.

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Indonesian law decrees that shipments found to contain contaminants must be sent back to their country of origin. The trash was deemed too contaminated to be recycled and an official announced at a press event on Tuesday that it will immediately be sent back to Australia as soon as the paperwork is processed.

“We carefully examined the suspicious imported goods and found that they were  contaminated with toxic waste,” Basuki Suryanto of the Customs and Excise Office said, the Jakarta Post reports.

Tuesday’s announcement comes hot on the heels of customs officials revealing last week that they would be shipping other batches of contaminated garbage back to several countries including the US, France and Germany.

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The problem of ‘environmental dumping’ has come to the fore in the past year after China banned imports of foreign plastic waste in a move that left developed many Western nations struggling to find places to send their garbage. Much of the waste was sent to countries in southeast Asia but opposition quickly sprang up. Last month, the Philippines returned 69 containers of Canadian trash and in May, Malaysia said it would be returning 100 tons of Australian rubbish. 

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