By: Eoghan Olkeriil Ngirudelsang

Ongoing Senate budget hearings are revealing more than just budgetary issues facing the nation.  The recent budget hearing with the Aimeliik State government called attention to what the state said was mismanagement of the new national landfill site in Aimeliik.

On August 30, Aimeliik State Governor Browny Simer testified before the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on their budget needs.  In addition to asking for more funds to cover the additional $60 increase in government salary, Governor Simer identified additional needs and issues facing the State of Aimeliik.

In his report, he called attention to the management of the new National Landfill (solid waste) site in Aimeliik.  The site, as reported during the groundbreaking, according to Simer, was to last for 25 years, with one section to be filled in 5 years.  He said that one section was already filled up, and the site was just opened for operation in 2021.

The site is said to be mismanaged. “If you were to go today, waste dumping is not managed properly. One section is already full; scrap metal workers are there, and it’s also posing risks of rats, flies and pests,” reported Simer at the hearing.

It was revealed that the Aimeliik State has written national Public Works reporting the issue.  Senators commended the State for bringing up the issue and said they would take action if the administration does not respond.

The landfill is managed by the National Solid Waste Management under the Bureau of Public Works.  The collection of solid waste for residents in the Babeldaob States is contracted out to a private company.  Koror State collects its own residential waste while outlying States still manage their own waste within their States.  Commercial companies are in charge of their own waste disposal.

The new national landfill cost $10 million dollars, funded by a grant from the Japanese government.  It completed construction in 2020 and started operations in 2021.

The landfill itself uses a circulation system and leachate pond where contaminated water is collected, and a facility where the water is treated.

It also uses the “fukuoka method”, a semi-aerobic waste disposal technology developed in Japan that uses bacteria-power to decompose the waste, contain its odor, and reduce its volume.

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