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Customers pay for bags to be collected

By Godwin Ligo PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Aug. 21, 2010) - The Port Vila Municipal Council will soon be introducing a pre-paid garbage bag system for waste collections in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The system uses a large yellow garbage bag with the Port Vila Municipal Council logo and the bags go on sale by the beginning of September.

By late October, the Council waste collection trucks will only pick up the yellow bags.

Part of the cost of each bag is received by the Council for the waste bag collection.

Anyone who puts a yellow bag out full of rubbish for collection will have paid the cost of collecting the bag.

This system is very fair as those people who make more rubbish pay more for that rubbish to be collected.

[PIR editor’s note: In 1997, Oceanographer C.J. Moore discovered what has been dubbed as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floating between Hawai’i and California. A 6,000 mile long current has over the years collected trash from all over the world compiling an estimated size range of 700,000 square kilometers to more than 15,000,000 square kilometers of floating trash.]

Currently some people pay their waste collection fee, but it is the same if there are two people to a house or ten. Not everyone pays the waste collection fee, so those who do pay are paying for those who do not.

Bags should be available at all stores in Port Vila including local stores in the suburbs.

The price for a large 60 liter bag will be 80 vatu [US$.80] and a smaller 40 liter bag will be 70 vatu [US$.70].

All stores that sell groceries are requested to ensure that they stock the yellow bags.

Bags will be available to smaller stores through normal wholesale outlets.

Environmental Health Officer with the Port Vila Municipal Council Malcolm Dalesa explained to Daily Post that around 19,000 yellow bags will arrive in Port Vila shortly to be sold in shops in and around Port Vila.

Everyone is requested to start using the yellow bags once they are available so that the system goes smoothly and rubbish is not left on the streets.

People who do not care about their rubbish and don’t use the yellow bags in future can be clearly seen in their community as their rubbish will be left outside their house or homes uncollected.

Mr. Dalesa told Daily Post that the Council is working hard to improve the waste management and collection in Port Vila and this system has been found to work very well in other countries such as New Zealand.

This system should enable the Council to improve waste collection services, and invest in equipment to deal with the rapid expansion Port Vila’s population and visitors who together are making more and more waste each year.

The pre-paid garbage bag system is being introduced to Port Vila by Alice Leney, of Sustainable Solutions for the Pacific Islands Coral Reef, Solar, Energy and Waste.

He is in Port Vila for a month to assist the Port Vila Municipal Council in the setting up of the new pre-paid garbage bag system.

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