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Jakarta Post

Indonesia vows to return unwanted waste back to US. It ends up in India

  • Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 29, 2019   /  05:22 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Batam Customs Office officers oversee the transfer of one of seven containers containing toxic and hazardous waste to the Capricorn 97.210 Barge, on July 29 at the Batu Ampar Container Port in Batam, Riau Islands. (JP/Fadli)

When hazardous waste was imported from several countries to Indonesia between May and August this year, Indonesian authorities pledged to send it all back to show that the government was committed to removing all unwanted materials from the country. According to data released by the Indonesian customs and excise office in September, authorities have sent back at least 331 containers filled with contaminated non-hazardous waste to numerous countries, including the United States. The non-hazardous waste, mostly comprising clean scrap paper, was intended to be used by paper recycling companies in Indonesia. However, it was contaminated with hazardous waste, such as diapers and plastic, which could not be processed by industries and eventually ended up as garbage in landfills. A provision on returning imported hazardous waste to their countries of origin is stipulated in the Basel C...