(Tokyo, Japan) Palau and Japan, on Wednesday, held a ceremony of Exchange of Notes for the project to construct national Landfill in Aimeliik State.

Palau Minister of State Faustina Rehuher-Marugg and Japan Minister of State Kono signed and exchanged notes in the ceremony as witnessed by Governor Demei Obak, Speaker Teruo Rengulbai and Chairman of Aimeliik State Public Land Authority Aisamerael Samsel.

Ministers Rehuher-Marugg and Kono expressed their governments’ commitment and support for each other as well as continued collaboration in the coming years.

Minister Rehuher-Marugg said that Palau and Japan will be celebrating 25th year anniversary of diplomatic relationship next year and expect to enjoy another 25 more years.

“First of all we thank the people of Aimeliik for their long term vision that now have culminated in the Japan’s commitment to fund the construction of the new national solid waste site. We cannot talk about pristine paradise without addressing our waste management issue. And this is not the end of this. We will continue to address the waste management issue on the east coast of Palau. As we develop we will need to have this kind of small manageable sites in Palau. We are fortunate as we have had experience managing such site in Koror and we have learned lessons that we can apply at this new site,” Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. said in an interview.

The realization of this new national landfill is one of President Remengesau’s priority item at this PALM 8 Summit.

The proposal for new national landfill has been in the making for almost 20 years, with initial approval to relocate to Aimeliik made in 2004.  Initial estimated cost of the new landfill stalled the project as well as opposition from some citizens of Aimeliik State.

The new landfill project will utilize the semi-aerobic landfill (Fukuoka Method) which “rapidly discharged polluted water from garbage using pipes set in final disposal sites and facilitates decomposition of organic garbage by taking in air naturally from the pipes which reduces amount of garbage and controls odor.”

The current proposed Fukuoka Method technology proved to be more environmentally friendly, effective and reasonable in terms of cost.

Aimeliik State leadership of the past 20 years had continued to pursue the landfill issue and finally yesterday, the culmination of the 20 years’ work was realized.