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Basel Convention rules on pollutants

Rulers in charge of implementing the Basel Convention have insisted that wastes including persistent organic pollutants (POPs) must not be used for recycling or re-use.

The secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal has released technical manuals on the subject.

The detailed booklet advises waste management bodies to ensure that POPs are destroyed or irreversibly transformed.

It notes national laws such as Germany's containing limits on the recycling of waste wood and waste oils that are contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The secretariat takes a similarly tough line in another new technical manual specifically dealing with the disposal of waste containing PCBs, polychlorinated terphenyls) and polybrominated biphenyls.

It advises on identification, sampling and handling, as well as environmentally sound disposal, referring sometimes to relevant sections of general technical guidelines for POPs. Guidelines on other specific POPs are being developed by the secretariat.

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