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Majuro to fix waste problems with PacWaste Atoll Project

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is the focus of an atoll island component of the PacWaste project. It will help address their problems of an overflowing landfill, broken hospital waste management system and encourage more waste recycling to be done on the atoll.

Funded by the European Union and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Pacific Hazardous Waste Management Project also known as PacWaste, will work with the Marshall Islands to showcase best waste management practices on isolated atolls in the Pacific region over the next four years.

“The atoll waste management pilot is one of a number of different focus areas that the European Union has provided funding support in the Pacific region to improve the management of priority hazardous waste,” said the SPREP Project Manager, Mr. Stewart Williams.

“The four year project also provides assistance in three other areas including improved management of asbestos, healthcare waste and electronic waste across fourteen Pacific island countries and Timor Leste”.

In March the PacWaste team visited the Marshall Islands as part of the preparatory work, conducting a series of meetings and site visits with government departments and other counterparts.

These include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office of Environment Planning & Policy Coordination, Ministry of Health, the Majuro Atoll Waste Company, and Marshalls Energy Company and the Majuro Atoll Local Government.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands was selected to partner with the European Union and SPREP in this project due to the significant waste issues the island atoll is experiencing.

“This waste management pilot will provide an integrated and all-round approach to waste management on the atoll, which will target priority infrastructure works, waste worker training, improved waste collection systems and a waste recycling programme,” said Ms Ileana Miritescu, Programme Manager at the European Union Delegation.

“These will have a profound effect on the atoll’s communities and environment.”

The next steps for the PacWaste Atoll Pilot will include a detailed baseline study on the current status of waste management in Majuro which will be used to plan the physical stages of the pilot including scoping studies and designs, equipment purchases, capacity building, training and public awareness raising.

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