Blue Star I, a huge, Panama-flagged freighter, recently was at anchor at a port in Sicily for five days, while being loaded with material, which was to be shipped to Varna. The English call it waste, the Americans trash. Once the ship put to sea, its belly was filled with 5,000 tons of it. In this case, the receipient will not pay for the “merchandise” received, but rather be paid, for getting rid of it, on a dump somewhere in Bulgaria.
For the big ship, full of waste, the destination port would be Varna, which is 900 nautical miles away. According to the publication La Stampa, “Sicula Transport” pays their Bulgarian partners 110 Euro per ton of trash they accept. The reason for them exporting their trash to Bulgaria: Their own disposal site is bursting with all the trash it receives.
For Bulgaria, the long-term costs for damage to the environment inflicted by the Italian trash might be higher than those 110 euro per ton, received by the company which signed the deal.
According to La Stampa, more trash might be exported to Romania and even Portugal. The E.U.’s Third World, to use a rather impolite and generalizing description for those three poor countries, seems to be ready to accept anything, for some cash.
In its article, the Italian publication criticizes the lack of a trash policy in Sicily, which would include recycling, among other measures designed to decrease the amount of waste.