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My Say: Let’s Use Every Resource Well To Keep Fiji Clean

My Say: Let’s Use Every  Resource Well  To Keep Fiji Clean
A man reaches down into the skip bin to collect what they had dumped into it as Anil Kumar (left), stands close by to watch them pick the rubbish and place it again in their truck on July 20, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga
July 24
11:00 2017

There is something seriously wrong with the way we are disposing of our rubbish.

And it is going to get worse if we do not do something now and stop our country getting rubbished through indiscriminate and illegal dumping.

As far as the Southern Division and Central Division are concerned it seems that the only designated dump site is the Naboro Landfill. So if you live in Nausori you have to travel 55 kilometres to dump your rubbish.

If you miss the normal rubbish pickup from the local councils or there is no service at all and you have to dispose of your rubbish quickly, where do you go?

Many take the short route and illegally dump their rubbish in another neighbourhood. To make matters worse, some commercial organisations have joined in on the act to save cost.

Incidentally, I join Parveen Bala, the Minister responsible, for praising a Mr Anil Kumar of Narere River Road, between Suva and Nausori.

Mr Kumar stood up to a commercial group illegally dumping their rubbish in a community bin.

The residents pay a fee for the bin and find that it’s usually filled before they throw in their rubbish. We need more people like Mr Kumar who can stand up to these groups who illegally dump their rubbish.

For those who find Naboro too far, they look for illegal dumps in other neighbourhoods to get rid of their rubbish. It’s a clandestine operation that uses the cover of darkness to avoid detection. All kinds of rubbish from household refuse to commercial garbage keep appearing in some neighbourhoods overnight although the neighbourhoods are doing their best to keep their environment litter-free.

Obviously, the volume of rubbish comes with population increase and development expansion. When the old rubbish dump was just outside Suva, it was easy to drive to it and dump rubbish.

Cost-wise, it’s a lot harder now to go to Naboro because of the distance.

That’s why it’s absolutely important for municipal councils to operate an efficient rubbish disposal operation.

That means making sure that rubbish left on the road by residents are picked up promptly. It’s very messy when rubbish is left behind. Residents have to learn to comply with the council rules and timetable.

Then the other issue is with those living in rural local authority. Some of the rubbish collection services there are pathetic and give rise to the illegal dumping of rubbish. It is understood that truck operators are contracted by the authorities to pick up the rubbish and offload it at the official dump site, in the case of the Central Division, it’s Naboro Landfill. In one area the services stopped because the contractor claimed the money he received from the authority was not enough to cover his expenses.

Either the authority should have increased the fee or look for another efficient contractor.

The other alternative is to increase the fee to the residents.

One neighbourhood is paying $3 every Saturday. I am sure residents would not mind paying one extra dollar or two dollars to ensure that their rubbish is cleared.

It’s bad enough when people throw wrappings and personal rubbish carelessly. But it’s worse when household and commercial rubbish is dumped illegally.

It is time all stakeholders should sit together including the relevant ministries to sort this out once and for all. We have been hot and cold in the way we’ve responded to this rubbish problem. If we are serious in our desire to get rid of the problem, then we must use all the resources available to us to do it.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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