ICI’s project manager Mac Mokoroa said the discussion of a glass crusher came about during the writing of business plans for the outer islands earlier this year.
Mokoroa said Atiu and Aitutaki were the only outer islands that showed concern about their landfill and solid waste management.
“The disposal of glass bottles was one of the areas of concern and in a follow up meeting held in early September with ICI and CITC, it was made known that Tapi Taio and his shipping company was able to assist by providing free freight for the glass crusher to Atiu,” Mokoroa said. According to the WATSAN Facebook page, this showed the communication and co-operation between the private sectors and the public sectors.
It stated that what came out of that discussion were ways that the private and public sectors could help out by providing in-kind contributions.
With this the Ministry of Infrastructure offered a glass bottle crusher, General Transport and CITC offered to look into transport and as a result, Tapi Taio agreed to ship the crusher.
Turning waste into a resource is where a lot of research and work is going to around the world.
Mokoroa said the issue of solid and liquid waste is a huge concern for the Government and the replication of such models in the outer islands would be very helpful if it is proven to be working more effectively and efficiently.
The Ministry of Infrastructure advises to avoid any construction use, apart from paths and pavements until it is tested for.
Mokoroa said glass bottles when crushed through this crusher plant would end up in a powdery form.
It can be used in concrete mixing and will also minimise the disposal of glass bottles all over the place. In a letter to this newspaper earlier this month, Ruth Horton highlighted the idea of having a glass crusher for Rarotonga.
As she acknowledged the initiative of having new recycle bins in town, Horton says “the agonising reality of the recycling bins is that at the end of the day, at the end of the road at the landfill dump, we are not able to recycle the items in an effective or cost saving way”.
She described the glass crusher as a fantastic machine that crushes glass bottles into a regular sand-like product that you can run your hands through, and what’s more, this machine can fit into a bar or restaurant setting and can take bottles and crush them quietly and quickly at the bar straight away.
Horton said in Rarotonga there is a distributor right here on the island, who brings in the machines: Andy Olah from Timberland. Recently WATSAN pointed out that ICI contracts T&M Heather to handle roadside collection in Rarotonga and they both rely on and expect everyone to sort their rubbish at home.
WATSAN states that sorting goes a long way to extending the life of the Rarotonga landfill.
The Rarotonga Waste Facility (RWF) / landfill are now at a capacity whereby ICI has to stack baled rubbish on top.
ICI wishes to advise the public that sorted rubbish is kept separate and sorted for roadside collection as glass, aluminium cans; plastic drink PET bottles and clean tin cans can be dropped to General Transport.