The awarding ceremony for a drawing contest for the 2021 Waste Collection Calendar, used to promote recycling in Babeldaob, took place this Wednesday at the National Landfill in Aimeliik, involving student participants from Aimeliik Elementary School, Ibobang Elementary School, Palau High School, and Belau Modekngei School.

The calendar competition is part of an outreach program by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the International Center for Environmental Technology Transfer (ICETT), and the Bureau of Public Works (BPW) to promote their Zero Waste Management Project in Babeldaob, which involves the collection of recyclable materials in two villages in Babeldaob. The recycling system is currently being implemented in Ibobang, Ngatpang, and in Mongami, Aimeliik, with the goal of eventually expanding to other states in Babeldaob.

Student artwork was featured for every month of 2021, and depicts practices relating to waste reduction and recycling. The calendar, which also highlights the days throughout the year when recyclables will be collected by the BPW, is being distributed to households in Ibobang and Mongami.

Resident Representative of JICA-Palau Yoshikazu Tachihara emphasized the role which youth education plays in spreading environmental awareness throughout Babeldaob’s communities.

“I admire your effort to increase awareness in the community, and to convince your parents not to throw away their garbage, but use recycling stations to recycle waste,” said Mr. Tachihara, speaking to the students at Wednesday’s ceremony. “I’m very sure you can keep this bountiful country of Palau beautiful.”  

In Aimeliik Elementary, the First Place prize for calendar artwork was awarded to Dilrea Oiterong, followed by Jurah Teltull in Second Place, and Kerdelareng Okada in Third. In Ibobang Elementary, First Place was awarded to Mika Inoue, followed by Jashmeen Mark in Second Place, and Robert Emesiochel in Third.

In Palau High School, First Place was awarded to Xara Leemansky, followed by Quinlan Yaoch in Second Place, and Andrea Alexandra in Third. In Belau Modekngei, First Place was given to Linda Yuri, followed by Rico Orrukem in Second, and Emmanuel Peredo in Third.

JICA is involved with three waste-management projects in Palau: the project at M-Dock where plastics, paper, and glass are recycled, the new National Landfill in Aimeliik, and the Zero Waste Management Project in Ibobang and Mongami.

In the two villages in Babeldaob, households are responsible for bringing their own recyclable waste to segregation stations, and to divide their waste deposits into metals, hard and soft plastics, glass, paper, and butane and other spray cans. Both villages have four segregation stations each, where the BPW collects waste every Monday morning and transports it to the M-Dock Landfill site. The plastics, glass, and paper are deposited at Koror Recycling Center, while metals and butane cans are collected by the Palau Waste Collection Company, a private contractor which treats metals. 

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