GOVERNMENT TO STRENGTHEN NATIONAL RECYCLING PROGRAM

The Government, through the Ministry of Waterways and Environment and Ministry of Agriculture, will strengthen current nationwide programs for the recycling of organic waste within household backyards.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy during the Global Recycling Day celebrations held at the Green Waste Recycle PTE Ltd Yard in Veisari, Lami today.

“With the increasing population and economic activity, Fiji is faced with a challenge to manage and properly dispose of so many different kinds of waste streams.

Minister Reddy highlighted a 2012 Asian Development Bank’s study titled “Solid Waste Management in the Pacific study” which noted that Suva City alone generated 65-68 tonnes of waste per day, of which 80% was organic waste, while 16% was paper and cardboard wastes.

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“This raises the question as to why are organic wastes being sent to dumpsites?

“We, jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture, will mount a nationwide program of recycling organic wastes within our backyards rather than sending it to the dumpsites. This could be an example of a self-sustaining system which is practical and should be based primarily on the sound principles of waste avoidance and minimization,” Minister Reddy said.

“Therefore, I am urging all household heads not to send organic or green waste to dumpsites but rather, leave it at a spot to degenerate before applying it to gardens thus converting wastes to provide nutrients for plant growth.”

In the same manner, Minister Reddy reiterated that other solid wastes could be recycled for the development of other products.

“To support this cause, the waste management and recycling project was first launched in October 2008 in Lautoka and Nadi. The project aims to promote; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle the waste which was later adopted as the 3R waste management model for Fiji.

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“Since then, this concept has been promoted annually in Fiji. This option of 3R is now pursued vigorously following the launching of the ‘Clean Environment Policy’ in January, this year,” he said.

“The aim of this policy is to contribute to the Ministry’s long term ambition to make Fiji cleaner for citizens and visitors, through self-compliance and enforcement of the Litter Act 2008. The policy provides guidance for securing a cleaner Fiji for all Fijians through a decentralized community based, awareness, readiness and litter enforcement program(s),” he added.

Hon. Reddy also acknowledged the technical support provided by the Government of Japan for its contribution to the Home Composting Subsidy Program and the Clean School Program, which were two of the 3Rs activities under the Japan Technical Cooperation Project for Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste Management in Pacific Island Countries, also referred to as J-PRISM.

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“I look forward to support from all cross-sections of the society, our children, households, educational institutions, the commercial and industrial sector in joining hands with us in dealing with this looming crisis of waste management.

“The inability to have and enforce proper waste management strategies and the inability to reduce, reuse and recycle waste will affect us and future generations, thus we must all take ownership of this initiative and make Fiji a model clean country.”