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6798: Philly trash hits land (fwd)

From: nozier <nozier@tradewind.net>

 Philly trash hits land .- Reuters

MIAMI - The last of a pile of unwanted Philadelphia trash turned away
by    governments worldwide and stranded at sea since Ronald Reagan was
president may finally receive a welcome close to South Florida's most
popular tourist beaches.
State environmental officials on Thursday approved a plan to re-burn the
 heap of garbage, which is sitting on a barge near central Florida, and
dispose of
the fresh ashes in a landfill near Ft. Lauderdale.
But the plan drew protests yesterday from both environmental and county
activists, who said the waste was hazardous since it contains toxic
metals."This will release whatever heavy metals are contained in that
ash and disperse  them in the environment," said Ann Leonard,
co-director of Essential Action, an  international environmental group
that has run a project called Return to Sender  for years to get the
trash sent back to where it originated. The trash has been spurned by
governments including Bermuda, Puerto Rico and  Singapore, and rejected
in states such as Georgia, Ohio and Virginia. It is a            small
chunk of what was once a 15,000-ton mound of incinerated
municipal                 waste from Philadelphia. Government officials
in 1986 signed a contract with a company to ship the   material
elsewhere after tensions in the labor force caused the closing of a
 Philadelphia city landfill, according to a statement issued on Thursday
by the          Florida Department of Environmental Protection.To be
dumped on distant shores, the garbage sailed on a vessel called the
Khian  Sea for two years before it was accepted by officials in the
Caribbean nation of Haiti. Those officials thought the ashes were a
gigantic pile of fertilizer, the statement said.
 Papers showed that over a decade, mariners dumped at least 4,000 tons
of what
 used to be beer bottles, newspapers and old shoes on the country's
northern              shores.But then Haiti halted the dumping and the
Khian raised anchor. The master of the
 ship later admitted to dumping some of the ashes into the Atlantic and
Indian             oceans during its travels.The Florida Department of
Environmental Protection says the waste has been tested several times
and proved to be safe. "We do believe this is a suitable plan  that will
put the problem to rest once and for all," said Don Payne, a spokesman
for Waste Management Inc., which will carry out the incineration in a
Pompano  Beach plant.