International News Round-Up: Fires, Art From Waste, And Hillary Clinton

Dump Fire Struggles Bring Attention To Thailand’s Waste Issues

16-04-14(3)pic1A month-long dump fire in Tambon Phraeksa, Samut Prakan province in Thailand has sparked investigations into the country¹s waste management practices. The fire, which started last month, caused thousands of health problems associated with smoke inhalation.

Investigators found evidence of industrial hazardous waste at the dump for which the site was not permitted.

Population growth and industrialization have led to rapid increases in waste production in Thailand. The increase has inundated regulated landfills and resulted in a rise of illegal dumpsites. About 81 percent of Thai waste management facilities do not handle waste according to regulation, according to the country¹s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

According to local press, illegal dumpsites are rife with corruption and illegal activity. Scandals involving illegal dumping permits and abuse of zoning regulations have plagued the Samut Prakan for years. Two activists were killed because of their participation in campaigns against the illegal dumpsites.


“Garbage Patch State Embassy” Art Installation Opens in Rome

16-04-14(3)pic2An art installation highlighting the Earth’s growing waste concerns opened in Rome last week. The exhibit, called “Garbage Patch State Embassy”, opened in the Maxxi museum of Rome on April 11.

The project debuted last year at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and later at venues in Venice and Madrid.

The installations were created by artist Maria Cristina Finucci as part of her transmedia art project Wasteland, which was made to illustrate growing concerns over waste pollution. In order to illustrate the vast expanse of ocean garbage patches, Finucci portrayed the patches as States where each exhibit is an Embassy, and where visitors are encouraged to apply for citizenship by adopting environmentally responsible behavior.

Included in the exhibit are a wave created with millions of P.E.T. chips, a list of marine litter objects completely covering the walls of the exhibit, and a number of educational activities.

View pictures of the Garbage Patch State Here


Hillary Clinton Ducks Shoe At Recycling Convention

16-04-14(3)pic3Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ducked a shoe thrown by a protester at a International Scrap Recycling Industry (ISRI) convention in Las Vegas last Thursday. The protester, 36-year-old Alison Michelle Ernst, was not an ISRI member and should not have been in the auditorium, according to the association¹s spokesperson.

³My goodness, I didn¹t know that solid waste management was so controversial,” Clinton joked after Ernst was escorted out of the auditorium.

Clinton addressed the recycling industry in her speech, “(Scrap recycling) offers a chance to improve the environment and stimulate the economy at the same time,” she said. She went on to discuss the Clinton Foundation¹s various projects involving sustainable waste management.

Federal authorities have lodged charges against the protester. She could face up to a year in prison if convicted. Although admitting to throwing the shoe, her motives are not yet known.

Watch the incident here


Stories courtesy of Sunanda Katragadda. Email Sunanda here


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