By Rhealyn C. Pojas

Japanese experts are in Palau this week to conduct follow-up training on sanitary landfill management and teach about the proper way of using the Fukuoka Method, an economical yet environmental-friendly way of managing a landfill.

The Fukuoka method had been already adapted by Palau since 2005 during the implementation of the Project for Improvement of Solid Waste Management in the Republic of Palau which was done in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Fukuoka method requires a landfill design that allows the natural flow of oxygen into landfill layers to enhance decomposition process of organic waste that is naturally performed by aerobic microorganisms.

Thirty participants composed of Palauans and representatives from the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands were trained by the experts for five days starting last February 5.

According to JICA Assistant Representative for Project Formulation Ayako Yoshida, during an interview with Island Times on Tuesday, the method is suitable for the situation faced by Pacific Islanders considering the volume of waste disposed, the weather, the human resources and the materials used for maintaining the landfill site that is designed through the method.

“Mainly the method teaches to use materials from the locals [as] we don’t need a big investment for managing the landfill,” Yoshida said.

“Palau and FSM had already installed the Fukouka method and now they’re learning more to understand how to manage the Fukouka method in the more appropriate way,” Yoshida said, adding that the follow-up training is necessary because even though the method had already been applied but if it is not managed the right way then the method will not work.

In a separate interview, Division of Solid Waste Management Chief Calvin Ikesiil said that their office never stop training their men to better their landfill and solid waste management.