Improving the Rarotonga Refuse and Recycling Collection Services

21 August 2019

Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI) have recently announced their plan to restructure the refuse and recycling collection service for Rarotonga.    Each day is to be allocated to one area of the island, Ara Tapu (mainroad) and Ara Metua (backroad) and cross roads that allow for two vehicles to pass.  View the new by downloading the PDF to the right of your screen.  If you don’t know your crossroad name, search Google Maps online at: bit.ly/RarotongaMap.  Zoom in until the road names appear. The new schedule will begin during October and more updates will be provided during the month of September.  Working with the contractor, ICI will announce the exact day of launching the new schedule. 

This change is part of a series of activities for improving and streamlining waste management.  “The Waste Management Division has been working on many plans across the board in line with the Solid Waste Management Strategy and eventually all will line up to form what we refer to as the Integrated Solid Waste Management Framework” says Diane Charlie-Puna, Secretary for ICI.  “This particular area, the collection service has additional initiatives the Ministry wants to do and the restructure of this service is one step towards the whole plan” adds Charlie-Puna. 

“Many people think that separating doesn’t make a difference but if you’ve ever worked or visited a waste management facility you will know that separation at source is key to improving efficiencies” says Jaime Short, ICI Waste Management.   Every individual is part of successful waste management so we do need everyone to separate their recyclables from general waste for landfill.   Waste really can be a resource and again, further plans when implemented will mean returns on products taken to recycling centres.  

An industrial glass crusher will be installed in the coming months which will crush glass bottles into a valuable aggregate for certain applications in construction, concreting and drainage.  “Once the crusher is operating we could reduce 45% waste in weight to landfill with 100% separation of glass from general waste” says Short.

We encourage the public to please call our Waste Management office on 29039 for more information.