Expatica news

Sorted waste “disappears” to the East

26 March 2007
BRUSSELS – Our carefully separated household waste is being shipped to the Far East in increasingly larger quantities. There are no guarantees that it will actually be recycled there, De Morgen wrote on Monday

If it is recycled, this is often under atrocious labour conditions and with little concern for the environment.

Flemish MP Rudi Daems (Groen!) came to this conclusion after reading a number of reports that have been confidential until now. “There are huge gaps in our knowledge about certain waste streams,” Daems says. “There is often no evidence that it has been effectively recycled.”

In particular paper, cardboard and plastic is increasingly shipped to developing countries like China, India or Indonesia. This is taking place because the labour intensive sorting costs a bundle in Belgium, and is only affordable now if it is done in low-wage countries.

The problem however that comes along with this is that waste processing in these countries, if it takes place at all, happens in dubious conditions, resulting in more water and air pollution.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news