KOROR( SPREP) —An innovative solution to address illegal dumping and, stockpile of End-of-Life Tyres (EOLT) in Palau has been designed as a project partnership between the Bureau of Public Works, the Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB), and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The project is supported by the European Union (EU) funded PacWastePlus programme which will assist stakeholders in Palau to introduce an effective and sustainable management programme for bulky waste, specifically for EOLT.
End of Life Tyres are expensive to send overseas for environmentally sound management and there are no in-country reuse options in Palau which has resulted in illegal dumping and stockpiles in the country.
An audit of Palau’s waste stream in 2019, identified 13,739m³ of EOLT stockpiled in the country which included 100m³ of shredded tyres.
For the past year, despite the global challenges caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, dedicated staff from respective agencies from Palau have been working with the PacWastePlus programme team on developing a suitable country project to be approved by the programme donor, the European Union.
On 21 July 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Brian Melairei, Director of the Solid Waste Management Division of the Bureau of Public Works, Michael Blesam, Acting Chief Executive Officer of EQPB, and the Director-General of SPREP,Kosi Latu, to enable the End-of-Life Tyres project implementation to commence formally in Palau.
“The PacWastePlus programme will assist the project to establish a legal framework that introduce a financial sustainable model of managing EOLT and establish a national standard that ensures the use of quality and long-lasting tyres in the country”, said the SPREP Director General,Kosi Latu.
“Additionally, the programme will assist Palau’s Solid Waste Management Division to design and implement a national management system that will enable in-country repurposing of EOLT”, stated Latu.
The SPREP Director General further added that the MoU provides a framework of co-operation, agreed project actions and responsibilities between SPREP and both Ministries to work in partnership and implement the End-of-Life Tyres management project through the PacWastePlus programme.
“We will utilise the PacWastePlus programme investment to establish a sustainable recovery programme in Palau to process End-of-Life Tyres given the high cost of exporting EOLT for environmental sound management”, said Michael Blesam, Acting Chief Executive Officer of EQPB.
The project team in Palau have expressed appreciation to EU, SPREP and the PacWastePlus Programme Management Unit for the assistance to develop a meaningful project and the continued guidance being provided as the project moves into the implementation stage.
“We appreciate the assistance that has been provided by PacWastePlus to develop the End-of-Life Tyres project and are excited to commence work on the implementation of project activities in Palau”, said the country focal point for the project, Calvin Ikesiil, Chief-Division of Solid Waste Management, Bureau of Public Works.
The project will pilot a chosen recommendation from research undertaken by the PacWastePlus programme in April 2021 reviewed and analysed the utilisation options for EOLT in the Pacific.
The project was designed to not only achieve the objective of Palau’s National Solid Waste Management Strategy (2017 – 2021) but also ensure alignment to the country’s National Development Goals and the pathway toward sustainable production and consumption. The project will facilitate various awareness and engagement campaigns to inform and engage tyre importers/retailers and communities on Palau’s EOLT Management System.
“With the implementation of this, PacWastePlus supported, project we are working towards having an effective long term and self-funding solution for the collection and repurposing of End-Of-Life tyres to address illegal dumping and accumulated stockpiles in Palau”, said Brian Melairei, Director-Bureau of Public Works, Ministry of Public Infrastructures, and Industries.
PacWastePlus will collate the learnings from the Palau project to assist other Pacific Island Countries implement a similar project.
Additionally, the programme in close collaboration with SPREP’s GEF ISLANDS project, will provide guidelines and publications through a regional Bulky Waste project to assist countries implement management systems to improve management of End of -Life vehicles.
The Pacific-EU Waste Management Programme (PacWastePlus) is a EUR 16.5 million (US$19.2 million), 72-month project funded by the European Union and implemented by Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and will address both the cost effective and sustainable management of waste and pollution as well as broader impacts including human health and wellbeing, climate change, disaster management, biodiversity conservation and resource recovery.
Priority waste streams include hazardous wastes (specifically asbestos, E-waste and healthcare waste), solid wastes (specifically recyclables, organic waste, disaster waste and bulky waste) and related aspects of wastewater…..PACNEWS