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Better waste practices to showcase Samoa as: green, healthy

Better waste practices to showcase Samoa as a green, clean and healthy island

7 July 2014

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Health and the Samoa Tourism Authority, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), have embarked on a campaign to help address the forecast increase in waste generated during the SIDS Conference, with an eye to improve waste management practices beyond the conference.

Samoa will host the third International Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS Conference), in August and September this year.
The campaign includes a waste audit that took place in March, of over 40 Samoan hotels and other accommodation venues and ports of entry to be used during the Conference. The survey results show that when fully occupied, between 7 and 70 large trash bags of waste are generated per week from each venue, which will increase significantly during the UNSIDS Conference.

Of the accommodation providers consulted, 27% dispose of their own trash, 62% use a contractor, 22% use community bins and 2% burn their waste. The most common types of waste are plastic bottles, plastic bags and food waste, with almost half the audited hotels carrying out segregation of plastic bottles and cans, which is an encouraged waste management practice as it reduces the amount of plastics and aluminum that ends up at the Tafaigata landfill.
As part of the ongoing SIDS waste management preparations, a technical workshop was also held this month to help develop a waste management process for the SIDS conference.

“This workshop will assist our hotel managers and stakeholders to improve waste management practices and methods for the SIDS conference so that we can all showcase Samoa as a clean and green healthy island,” said Suluimalo Amataga Penaia, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Over the course of the workshop, results from the audit of waste management practices at the UNSIDS accommodation providers and ports of entry were presented to workshop participants.
Participants were also provided with information on a range of waste management techniques, as well as the waste management services provided by the Government of Samoa.

“SPREP is appreciative of the fact that the Government of Samoa is taking positive steps to ensure that waste management processes and facilities are able to cater for the added waste volume, and that waste disposal is carried out efficiently and using best practice,” said Dr. David Haynes, Director, Waste Management and Pollution Control, SPREP.

“I would also like to emphasise that waste management is not solely the responsibility of the Samoan Ministry of Natural Resources of Environment - it is, and will continue to be everyone’s responsibility, and it is vital that a user-pays waste management service is implemented across Samoa as soon as possible.”

Following the successful staging of the workshop, the MNRE, in collaboration with SPREP, will now work with the accommodation providers and ports of entry in improving their waste management practices. This work will also involve the waste management service providers who do the collection and recycling activities as well as the operations of the Tafaigata Landfill.

The results of the waste audit will also be presented to the SIDS Committee and policy decision making system of the Government to help put in place better waste management systems for the SIDS Conference and beyond.


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