Waste disposal

Satish Nakched Suva | Saturday, August 12, 2017
The informal settlement at Veirasi in Nadera has about 200 households and on average generate about two kilograms of refuse in a week per household and in a year this figure amounts to about 20 tonnes of rubbish produced that is dumped in the sea.

There is no provision of any sort of a proper system of garbage collection methods on a regular basis as this settlement is not recognised by the local municipal.

The residents use burning of the rubbish as a disposal method but most opt to discharge the refuse into the mangroves and into the streams.

The sea tide and the stormwater then slowly push it to the sea and most of it gets tangled around the mangrove roots and remain there for years and this is very visible during the low tide.

If this abuse continuous for another five years the total tonnage of the rubbish that will end up in the environment will exceed more than a hundred tonnes and this figure is very alarming and frightful.

This assumption and the calculation are based on the minimum estimate and probably the abuse can be higher.

We have so many informal settlements around the country and there is a need for a study to be undertaken to see the percentage of the rubbish not going through the system for a proper and controlled disposal method that adversely affects our environment.

Apart from the environment issues the fact remains that the population of such establishment will grow and put enormous pressure on the environment if our system fails to capture such threats.

The Local Government Ministry needs to come up with a mechanism to assist the people in managing the garbage. This applies to the Cunningham and the Khalsa Rd areas. It is noted that the populous formal settlements in the Davuilevu area are not serviced by the municipal concerned and there is a private contractor who comes once a week to collect the rubbish and charges $3 per bag and must be paid on the spot for the service.

Apart from the environment concerns, the rotting garbage is known to produce harmful gases that mix with the air and can cause breathing problems in people and the other biological threats.

Proper waste disposal is critical because of the fact that certain types of wastes can be hazardous and can contaminate the environment if not handled properly.

These types of waste also have the potential to cause an outbreak of diseases. With so many places now on the verge of been declared towns and cities, it is also important to ensure the basic amenities of a garbage disposal system is in place that covers the total municipality.

There is a need to plug all the holes and the leakages of littering that will keep our country beautiful.

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