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7 Geo. Int'l Envtl. L. Rev. 485 (1994-1995)
Waste Exports to the Developing World: A Global Response

handle is hein.journals/gintenlr7 and id is 493 raw text is: NOTES
Waste Exports to the Developing World: A Global
Rich countries are sending their garbage to poor, developing countries.
The motivation is money: rich countries want to save it and poor countries
want to earn it. Fortunately, many developing countries have begun to
realize the true cost of accepting wastes and have asked the global commu-
nity to help end waste exports to the developing world. The industrialized
world should be responsible for managing its own wastes.
The industrialized countries of the world produce roughly ninety-eight
percent of all hazardous waste.1 The United States alone produced 139,000
tons of hazardous waste in 1990.2 Although the United States exported
sixty-eight percent of this waste to Canada,3 much waste went to developing
countries for final disposal or recycling.4 Industrialized countries export
hazardous waste to the developing world primarily for economic reasons.
Strict environmental regulations have increased the cost of waste disposal in
industrialized countries. In addition, citizens of industrialized countries
* J.D. Georgetown University Law Center, 1995. The author would like to thank Andrew Kitt,
Marian Sullivan, Eric Fersht, Christine Biebel and Mila Kofman for their help preparing this note
for publication.
1. Greenpeace Report Says Asian Countries Being Used as a Dumping Ground for Waste, 17 INT'L
ENVTL. REP. (BNA) 113 (Feb. 9, 1994).
2. Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their
Disposal: Hearing Before the Senate Comm. on Foreign Relations, 102d Cong., 2d Sess. 43 (1992)
[hereinafter Hearings] (environmental documentation submitted by the Dept. of State).
3. Id. These figures do not include trade in non-hazardous wastes. U.S. law does not consider
municipal waste, sewage and incinerator ash to be hazardous. As a result, the Environmental
Protection Agency does not have any authority to regulate this type of waste even though it often
contains high levels of toxic lead, cadmium and other toxins. See J. Isaacs, U.S. Hazardous Waste
Exports: Regulations and Proposals, 15 MD. J. INT'L L. & TRADE 69 (1991); Warren Freeman,
4. See, e.g., GREENPEACE, WASTE INVASION OF ASIA, (1994); David Weir & Andrew Porterfield,
The Export of U.S. Toxic Wastes, 245 THE NATION 325 (Oct. 3, 1987) [hereinafter Weir & Porterfield];
Central America has become the 'Favored' Spot for Unloading First World Waste, Group Says, 14 INT'L
ENVTL. REP. (BNA) 373 (July 3,1991).

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