“Behind every successful and healthy society, you must have a good solid waste management system expressed President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. during the opening of Palau’s state of the art national solid waste management plant in Aimeliik State, on Babeldaob island.
Seen as the third largest grant aid from Japan after Palau International Airport Improvement Project and Palau -Japan Friendship Bride (KB Bridge), the new solid waste management site employs the eco-friendly technology, the Fokuoka Method and constructed at the cost of $10 million dollars.
Emphasizing the importance of having a good solid waste program, Remengesau said for a country like Palau which is made up of 99% bountiful ocean and 1% land mass, it is critical that solid waste management is placed at the top of infrastructure priority list.
For nearly 25 years, Palau has been grappling with the issue of the national solid waste management site. With Koror solid waste site exceeding its capacity, and each of the states having its own unmanaged site, national government sought for a second site apart from Koror that could handle the volume of waste in a sustainable way.
“It may have taken 25 long years to come to this point but it is a blessing in disguise,” stated Public Works Director Brian Melairei. The original plan for a solid waste site would have been a dump site, which is a problem every where said Melairei. The new site, added Melairei, is a state-of-the-art solid waste management site with capacity to last for over 25 years.
“Honestly, one of the reasons it took 25 years to reach this point was because of the discussion of where to put the new site. No one wanted the solid waste site. I want to truly thank the people of Aimeliik, its leadership for having the vision, to see that, not only would this would benefit Aimeliik but it will also Palau as a whole. After Koror, Aimeliik will immediately have the best solid waste site for themselves,” expressed President Remengesau in remarks during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the competition of the new solid waste management site.
Aimeliik Governor Browny Simer said that Aimeliik State will continue to contribute what it can to the wellbeing of the entire country and express on behalf of the people of Aimeliik the support for the project.
Public Works Director Melairei said that this was not the end but the beginning of the work with all other State governments on the waste management reduction and asked for continued support.
The Aimeliik Solid Waste Site will handle waste from all of Babeldaob that will be collected by private trash collectors who won the bid to collect trash and bring to the site. Koror State will continue to collect its own waste, bring to M-Dock Solid Waste site for recycling and non-recyclables will be brought to Aimeliik site.