The Cook Islands face a range of challenges around the management of solid waste. Due to size and isolation, disposal of rubbish has significant costs, both environmental and financial in the Cook Islands and focus needs to be in reducing solid waste to landfill.
Equally important is the fact that poor waste management has far reaching consequences beyond our shores. Litter will often be blown or washed into the sea where it threatens wild life. The substances that plastic is made of is released into the environment and the food chain through consumption by fish.
Goal 3 in the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) states:
“Promote sustainable practices and effectively manage solid and hazardous waste"
The WATSAN Division is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Rarotonga Waste Facility and to progress Goal 3, the Division is working through a range of initiatives to improve solid waste management through:
- Establishing partnerships with the private sector and other Government organisations
- Implementing new processes at the Rarotonga Waste Facility
- Communications and Awareness via Facebook, newspaper and presentations. Like the WATSAN Cook Islands Facebook page to receive regular updates, articles both local and international and best practices in waste management.
The Cook Islands National Solid Waste Management Strategy 2013 - 2016 is currently under review and will be completed before the end of 2017.
Learn more about our initiatives below.