HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Plastic bottles will be recycled!
On the conclusion of Lagoon Day 2012, Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning (MOIP), Donye Numa, is pleased with the feedback on the Rarotonga Waste Management Facility operation , particularly solid waste, received from the survey’s that were filled out.
The comments from the public/students showed that government staff explained the aspects of the facility and issues well in that the main messages conveyed were understood and absorbed. The combined effort of MOIP with the National Environment Service and Ministry of Health demonstrated a united front in the fight for waste awareness.
The main issues regarding solid waste are the fact that the landfill is filling up too fast, to sort waste for recycling, to try to ensure waste is free of food debris and that bottle tops on plastic drink bottles are removed. For liquid waste (sewage) the main messages for what the public can do is to not put rubbish down toilets and avoid depositing harsh detergents down sinks.
These aspects mean less waste ends up in the landfill and less leachate, a toxic liquid formed from organic (food, vegetation) waste, forms. Clean rubbish also means that there will be less or no flies, vermin and odour at the landfill.
It was noted in the Cook Islands News on Tuesday 17th July that the plastic PET soft drink bottles will not be shipped off for recycling due to the high cost of doing this. Numa advises that the value of various waste streams fall and climb. At this point in time the value of plastic has decreased so the compacted bottles are being stored until it is more economically sensible to transport to NZ for recycling.
The ministry encourages people to continue sorting their rubbish for recycling. To make this as easy as possible, household recycling cards were circulated throughout Rarotonga via the Cook Islands newspaper on 30th June. For homes that do not have a card, they can be picked up from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning and the National Environment Service. The cards come with a handy magnetic strip that allows you to stick it to your fridge for easy reference. If the instructions on the recycle cards are followed, the waste facility and Rarotonga will operate much more efficiently, cleaner and healthier.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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