Court to decide fate of US waste at Tuticorin port

June 18th, 2008 - 1:31 am ICT by IANS  

Madurai, June 17 (IANS) Three years after containers of waste from the US arrived at the Tamil Nadu port of Tuticorin, its exporters Tuesday sought permission of the Madras High Court to segregate the rubbish. According to Evergreen Specialities, the company which sent out 35 containers full of the USA municipality waste, the containers came to Tuticorin port by mistake.

It has been held here for three years. Meanwhile, owners of the containers want the rubbish taken out and the containers returned to them.

They have filed a petition in the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court to get the containers back.

Indian authorities are, however, reluctant to allow the rubbish out on Indian soil. The high court bench has ordered an inspection of the waste. Inspectors say, about 900 tonnes of this waste contains “plastic waste, bottles, rubber mats and leather bags”, mixed in the municipal waste.

An official of Evergreen Specialities, U.B. Sehgal, Tuesday filed a counter-affidavit before the court saying, a Bangladeshi importer wants to buy the waste, but Bangladesh will only allow in the plastic and not anything else.

The US will not, however, take back the un-segregated waste. Sehgal told the court that the waste came as part of 25,000 tonnes of mixed waste paper imported by the ITC Limited.

The court will now have to rule on what to do with this huge amount of waste.

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