"My pastor told us the story about the garbage ship, the Pelicano. It was filled with toxic ash from Philadelphia and then no port will let it dock. I would really like to know more about it." The Newton Falls Public Library staff found this to be an interesting inquiry and told our patron we would see what we could find for them.
An online search brought us to the November 28, 1988 New York Times article "After 2 Years, Ship Dumps Toxic Ash." According to the article it's cargo holds were filled with " 28 million pounds of Philadelphia's municipal and industrial incinerator ash." "The ship left Philadelphia in September 1986 as the Khian Sea. It was renamed the Felicia in July and the Pelicano earlier this month, according to published reports and shipping officials. . . After the ship was barred by the Bahamian Government from dumping the ash, it wandered the Caribbean for 18 months, leaving at least 2,000 tons of ash in Haiti before making an attempt to enter Delaware Bay. Its later travels took it to West Africa, the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. It was turned away from ports in at least 11 countries, including the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. . . Earlier this month. . .a court document showed that the ash had been dumped."
We finally discovered what happened to the remaining ash at the website Philly.com. On June 15, 2002, Inquirer Staff Writer Tom Avril posted "Traveling trash Years later, long-fought ash returning." The final resting place for the last 3,000 tons of ash is The Mountain View landfill in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
More information about toxic ships can be found in the Greenpeace report, www.greenpeace.it/Report-The-toxic-ship.pdf.