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Trash containers: Hayleys tells court it is not waste

Hayleys is arguing that the company never imported waste into the country and therefore did not violate any law when a Writ petition with regard to the import of hundreds of containers of garbage came before the Court of Appeal yesterday.

The court fixed yesterday July 31 to decide on issuing notices to the respondents and the granting of interim relief.

 Romesh de Silva PC appearing for Hayleys PLC told court that his client as a company, which runs a hub operation in Katunayaka, had not violated any law as it had only done a separating process for re-exportation of containers of mattresses, which cannot be regarded as waste.

He said the mattresses were somehow exposed to the open environment, through negligence and that led the goods to be exposed to rain which resulted in the goods being regarded as garbage. 

The petitioner had sought an interim order to be delivered preventing any transportation of the containers inside the country.

De Silva said that these alleged containers of mattresses were owned and imported by a company called Ceylon Metal Processing Ltd (CMP) with the intention of re-exporting them. Hayleys, through its Free zone hub, had done only the processing part of these mattresses as they were dismantled and separated by the Hayleys using its hub. 

De Silva was of the view that these mattresses cannot be regarded as wastes because there is no iota of evidence to suggest that these goods were biomedical and health care goods or something that can be regarded as wastes under the law.

“All that we do with the mattresses is a separating process, we are not the owner of those mattresses. It was only a hub processing which allows the goods to re-export,” de Silva said.

When questioned by President of the Court of Appeal Justice Yasantha Kodagoda over the possibility of any by-products of those mattresses being left behind inside the country, de Silva said those mattresses never get transported inside the country even as a by-product or as any other disposal because, when the mattresses were imported from UK by CMP, the containers come to the hub operated by Hayleys for only the separation process for re-exportation.

The matter was taken up before the Bench comprising Justices Yasantha Kodagoda (President) and Arjun Obeysekara.

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