Tons of garbage to be shipped back to South Korea

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 2) — Tons of garbage smuggled into the country will be shipped back to South Korea this month at Seoul's cost.

Customs officials on Wednesday said the 6,500 tons of trash which are now in Misamis Oriental will be returned to Pyeongtaek, South Korea on January 9 at an estimated shipping cost of P2 million.

The Philippines and South Korea agreed on this at a meeting held last December 27 to 28.

READ: South Korea to take back trash shipment

Officials said the consignee, Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation, failed to secure the proper importation permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and also misdeclared the shipment. The firm earlier said the container vans carried soft plastic and not garbage, claiming that the plastics are raw materials for furniture reprocessing. Upon checking, however, authorities said the shipment contained illegal and hazardous waste materials such as used intravenous lines, light bulbs, and old batteries.

They arrived at the Mindanao Container Terminal last July 21, but were only reported in November.

CNN Philippines' Rex Remitio contributed to this report.