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Last updateSat, 24 Aug 2019 12am

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    Thursday, August 22, 2019-9:52:24A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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NMI interested in replicating Palau’s recycling program

KOROR state officials met with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres on Tuesday afternoon at his office to discuss Palau’s recycling program.

“This is something we should look into,” Torres said during a joint press conference with the visiting officials from the Palauan state led by Koror Gov. Franco Gibbons.

“I would like to thank Governor Torres for having me,” Gibbons said. “We will prepare data from our recycling facilities in Palau and [share them with the CNMI].”

For their part, Koror solid waste management consultant Katsuo Fuji and CNMI solid waste and recycle management executive advisor Jun Kitaoka explained Palau’s recycling policy.

Koror state government officials and consultants  pose for a photo with Gov. Ralph Torres, Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios and other CNMI officials after a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the governor’s office.  Photo by Fahim Uddin Koror state government officials and consultants pose for a photo with Gov. Ralph Torres, Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios and other CNMI officials after a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the governor’s office. Photo by Fahim Uddin

Fuji said Palau collects a 10-cent tax for each beverage container, including beer, soda drinks and coffee. The collected funds then go to Palau’s recycling program. As for members of the public, they earn 5 cents for each beverage container they redeem.

“It’s a funding mechanism,” said Fuji. “Everybody will be environmentally happy.”

Fuji said the Palau government does not fund the recycling program.

Japan Environmental Solutions president Koji Okamoto and director Kyosei Nozawa explained how a recycling program can help Saipan’s environment.

Okamoto and Nozawa are private sector stakeholders in solid management who share best practices from Japan.

They have provided input on solid waste management, along with other private partners that the administration has had dialogue with over the last few years, the administration said.

It added that Koror’s program was started by a Japanese expatriate who relocated to Koror and then eventually helped set up the redemption center and its regulations.

“I would like Koror state and the CNMI to be partners in this program. It will help remove debris from Saipan’s beaches, too,” said Selby Etibek, Koror solid waste and recycle management manager.

“The thing that is good about this is to see what’s working for the environment,” Governor Torres said adding that recycling program can also provide new employment opportunities on Saipan.

Through the program, he added, you can turn litter into money.

A delegation from Saipan visited Koror last year to look into its recycling center and container deposit levy program.