The new National Landfill located in Aimeliik opened for service yesterday and collected over 5 tons (4,740 kilograms) of waste brought in by the Babeldaob Waste Collection Company, PPUC, and private collectors.
Two trucks from the Babeldaob Waste Collection Company, the contractor operating the Babeldaob trash collection system, collected trash from households, State offices, schools, and parks in Ngaraard and Ngarchelong, and will be collecting from the other states of Babeldaob throughout the week. Private businesses and national government agencies are responsible for transporting their own waste to the landfill site.
The Bureau of Public Works (BPW) said that Koror State will continue to use the old landfill site at M-Dock for the time being, but eventually the site in Aimeliik will be used to accommodate waste from Koror.
The Aimeliik Landfill, a project which cost around $12 million in funding from the Government of Japan to build, contains four separate cells where waste is deposited, and venting pipes designed to introduce air into the bottom layer of the landfill, so that the contaminated water is separated from the waste. The site contains a leachate pond where rain water is collected, to where the contaminated water is pumped and diluted.
The Bureau of Public Works (BPW) and JICA representatives addressed community concerns of water runoff by demonstrating that the design of the landfill, which uses the “fukuoka method”, utilizes a circulation system between the deposit site and the leachate pond to pump the water back to the site after it is diluted, relying on evaporation rather than runoff to get rid of the water, so that the contamination never reaches the river. The BPW said that the pond may overflow during times of heavy rain, but that with the circulation system any water which runs from the pond should be clean. The BPW also has testing kits to monitor the quality of any water running off from the pond.
The site also uses a weighting system to continually monitor the amount of waste being brought into the site.
The BPW said that, while a plan is not yet in place, possibilities are being looked at for coordination between Kayangel State and Ngarchelong State to bring waste from Kayangel to the new landfill, providing that boat transportation can be arranged. Kayangel Governor Richard Ngiraked has previously voiced hopes that the landfill will be able to accommodate vast quantities of trash which wash up on Kayangel’s beaches from the ocean.
JICA and the BPW are also coordinating to introduce recyclable collections to Babeldaob. A current three-year trial project for recycling is being conducted in the villages of Ibobang in Ngatpang, and Mongami in Aimeliik. Recyclable collection from the two communities takes place every Monday, each village with four segregation stations, where recyclables like paper, soft plastics, hard plastics, and metals are set aside. The materials are afterwards brought to Koror Recycling Center, as well as to the Palau Waste Collection Company, which collects metals.
The project is set to end in February 2022, but the BPW says that it hopes to eventually expand the recycling project to every state in Babeldaob. JICA representatives say that, without a working recycling system, all waste collected in Babeldaob is transported straight to the National Landfill, which greatly adds to the volume of waste being deposited at the site.

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