Shaun Bamber

Shaun Bamber

The Prime Minister and Minister of Marine Resources Henry Puna officially opened the extended and renovated Ocean Monitoring Centre at the Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) in Avarua yesterday, describing it as “a facility that allows our sovereign little nation to exercise full responsibility over its ocean domain”.

A busload of excited children made their way from Blackrock Apii Potiki to Rarotonga International Airport yesterday morning.

Tiare Taporo to sail in April

Tuesday March 20, 2018

Almost two years after its last voyage, the Tiare Taporo is set to sail to the northern islands again.

Taio Shipping owner Tapi Taio says the company’s new vessel “Grinna” is all set to sail from the port of Denmark and the only thing holding it up is the insurance.

Tereora College has racked up a massive $5000 power bill in just 10 days – and the school’s modern new buildings are to blame.

Turning bottles into sand

Friday March 16, 2018

Work now being done at WATSAN (Water, Waste and Sanitation) division of Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI) could see most of Rarotonga’s empty glass bottles end up as sand.

A cost-benefit analysis of glass crushing is one of three projects being undertaken by WATSAN’s first dedicated waste programme coordinator, Hilary Boyes, who hails from Wanaka in New Zealand and will be with ICI for the next six months.

Boyes has been involved in waste management all over the world, most notably in Vancouver, Canada, where she helped set up organic waste collection for composting purposes. She also worked as an on-site coordinator during the construction of a large natural gas project site in Australia.

“By crushing glass into the particle size of sand, the glass can be substituted for sand in concreting and leave the sand where it belongs,” says Boyes.

“Speaking with experts in concreting they advise that coral sand isn’t actually ideal for concreting and crushed glass is the preferred option.”

A side benefit of recycling glass bottles by crushing them into sand is that it also saves sand being mined for construction purposes.

The rate of natural production of sand is much slower than extraction, which means using sand as aggregate in concrete is unsustainable, especially on small islands. And sand mining can also have other undesirable effects, says WATSAN director Jaime Short.

“The continued mining of sand with the holes being filled with soil and worse still, hazardous waste that is often reported dumped in these holes, will have disastrous effects on lagoon and human health.”

In the 2018/19 budget bidding, ICI is vying for an industrial glass crusher and the findings of Boyes’ cost-benefit analysis will ensure the correct size of crusher is purchased - and that parts are easily obtainable.

“The long-term view is to have this operation taken over by the private sector and we do hope that it can be a profitable venture to attract a private-sector operator,” says ICI secretary Ngametua Pokino.

“We also hope that it will create more attention and action on realising that waste actually is a resource.” ICI now asks the public to separate glass bottles when putting them out for collection, but the glass cannot actually be sent off the island as its international value is too low. Instead, the bottles are used as cover for the landfill and crushed glass from a small single-bottle feed crusher is used as fill on driveways.

The industrial crushing idea has been floating around for some time and there are already private-sector initiatives out there. For example, Brad and Ngere from Brad’s Auto Body Repairs have their own crusher and use cullet-sized crushed glass in pavers – and in the construction of their home.

Andy Olah of Timberland also approached ICI about glass crushing and has been a longtime proponent of the repurposing of glass bottles.

All these local real-life examples for glass crushing will contribute to the analysis, and Malcolm Sword of General Transport is also providing some technical advice for the project.

            - Release/SB

Dogs attack pigs in killing spree

Thursday March 15, 2018

Uncontrolled dogs are a continuing problem on the island, the Cook Islands Police Service says.

PSL sets date for resuming service

Thursday March 15, 2018

The Tiare Taporo may be facing ongoing legal strife regarding the trespass notice served against it by the Ports Authority last month, but owners Pacific Schooners Limited (PSL) are still forging ahead with plans to prepare the vessel for trade by March 31.

Southern islands keen on coconuts

Wednesday March 14, 2018

It’s all about the coconuts.

The Ministry of Agriculture is meeting this week with mayors and executive officers from all of the southern group islands to discuss implementation of their ‘Pa Enua Agriculture for Resilient Livelihoods’ (PEARL) programme.

Apii Te Uki Ou ambassadors

Monday March 12, 2018

Staff, students and family members gathered together yesterday at Apii Te Uki Ou to celebrate their new school ambassadors for 2018.

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