On Wednesday, October 7, 2020, T.H. Reed B. Oliver, Governor of Pohnpei State attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Recycling Center at the Dekehtik landfill. The Recycling Center is part of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) project made possible through the Embassy of Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects and support from the 10th Pohnpei State Legislature, administered by the Office of Transportation & Infrastructure and contractor: Pacific Landscaping.
Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Kapilly Capelle, related the project details and background noting that today’s ground-breaking ceremony is the culmination of collaborative efforts that began in 2012. He mentioned the grant assistance by Japan in the amount of U$87,609.00 and the complementing funds of approximately U$12,000.00 through the Pohnpei State Government. In addition to this facility, a waste metal compressor is on its way to Pohnpei to equip the facility. This equipment is funded by Japan Government through its non-project grant aid for Environment and Disaster prevention programs in the Pacific. The estimated cost of that equipment is in excess of USD165,000.00.
H.E. Hidenobu Sobashima, Japanese Ambassador to FSM, said the current Recycling Center in Kolonia, also funded through the Embassy of Japan, “plays an important role in reducing the volume of waste and even generating income.” He said that since 2017 approximately 15 million cans have been recycled at the current location. However, the location and size of the current center are not ideal for collecting large amounts of cans properly and causes traffic congestion during collection times, he said. The new center will have increased capacity, recycling 4 million more cans, the location will cause less congestion, and the habit of recycling, hopefully, will be ingrained in future generations discouraging littering, he said.
Governor Oliver in his remarks conveyed, on behalf of the Government and State of Pohnpei, his sincere thanks and appreciation for the Embassy of Japan’s generous support. He thanked the 10th Pohnpei State Legislature for their support and the work done by EPA and the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure. Governor Oliver said this recycling center will help in the cleanup of Pohnpei so it is “imperative as well as very, very critical that we take care of this plant.” He challenged the Executive Director of EPA and his staff to continue looking for further ways to help Pohnpei’s environment including recycling of plastic and other materials used in Pohnpei.
After remarks were made, Governor Oliver, Lt. Governor Perman, and Ambassador Sobashima were joined by the Executive Officer of EPA, Mr. Henry Susaia, Administrator of the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure, Iso-Nahnken of Madolenihmw, Mr. John Adolph, and Vice Speaker Stevick Edwin of the 10th Pohnpei State Legislature as they performed the ceremonial ‘ground-breaking’ on the new EPA Recycling Center.
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