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Contaminated waste to return to UK

Almost 2,000 tonnes of contaminated waste will be shipped back to Britain after being seized in Indonesia, investigators have said.

Authorities believe 90 containers exported from the UK as "scrap metal" were illegally packed with liquid and mixed waste.

The Environment Agency said it was liaising with Indonesian authorities as part of efforts to find the gang behind the export.

The agency said Indonesian authorities have requested repatriation of the containers, which could take a month to send back. The containers are due to be released for repatriation at the end of March.

Under international law, Indonesia may accept scrap metal for recycling - but contaminated waste cannot be exported.

Andy Higham, who is leading investigations for the agency, said: "We are working closely with the Indonesian authorities to establish the facts of this case. Illegal waste exports risk harm to human health and the environment in the country of export, it also undermines law-abiding recycling businesses back home.

"There is a legitimate export market for recyclable material. However, we will take vigorous action where there is evidence of waste being exported illegally."

The Environment Agency will oversee the arrival of the containers before undertaking an inspection of their contents.

Investigations take place as four men prepare to appear in court accused of illegally exporting 89 containers of prohibited waste to Brazil between November 2008 and July 2009.

Julio Cesar Rando da Costa, of Swindon; Julio Valderama da Costa, of Swindon; Simon Edwards, of Loughton, Essex; and John Coombe, of Romford, will appear at the Old Bailey on April 12.


From Belfast Telegraph