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Rubbish issues prompt complaints

Wednesday September 19, 2018 Written by Published in Local
Illegally dumped rubbish is also an issue on the island and has become a particular problem in the Panama swamp area. 18091820 Illegally dumped rubbish is also an issue on the island and has become a particular problem in the Panama swamp area. 18091820

Roadside collection contract principal Infrastructure Cook Islands received a number of complaints last month on the state of household rubbish collection points in Te Au O Tonga. 

 

Community members reported their collection points were in a mess, with rubbish spilled on to roads and in some cases, strewn about by dogs.

ICI’s Jaime Short says island residents are becoming frustrated with having to clean up messes caused by others in their neighbourhoods.

“When it can be seen that rubbish is not sorted properly or is badly contaminated with food scraps, the collection contractor T&M Heather will not accept it.

“Many people don’t understand this, but the fact is our one and only landfill is filling up very fast and a large portion of it can be diverted from landfill to recycling and composting or feed. 

“We really need everyone to do their part sorting their waste properly for collection.”

Short says another regular problem is caused by people putting household appliances on the roadside for collection. 

“People must take these to General Transport for proper processing. We all manage to transport these appliances to our homes when they are new - it takes the same effort to get them to the correct disposal facility in Avarua.

Short says Part 6 of the Public Health Act 2004 requires all owners of rubbish receptacles to place household rubbish out no earlier than 24 hours before collection and to return the bins home within 24 hours of the rubbish being collected. If the rubbish isn’t collected, the owner has to take it back home.  If the rubbish is spread out by dogs or other causes, the home owners responsible for the rubbish have to clean it up.

“ICI sympathises with the upset members of the public who have to deal with the issue and asks everyone for cooperation with good household waste practices. Place household rubbish out for collection on the morning of pickup, avoid placing food scraps in the bins and instead compost it or feed to pets. Sort recyclables separately into plastics with recycle triangles, aluminium and clean tin food cans and glass bottles. And finally, place the rest out as general waste, except for anything hazardous like batteries and (electronic) gadgets.”

A poster from the ICI website at: http://ici.gov.ck/recycling provides tips and information on where you can take or what you can do with most waste items on Rarotonga.

Anyone requiring better direction on household waste management should call the WATSAN Division on 20321 for a rubbish sorting session to be arranged for you.

            - Release/CS