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Plan to expand pending

By Giff Johnson SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Feb. 11, 2011) - While Majuro’s city landfill temporarily closed last week, it has reopened and will continue to accept garbage and Majuro Atoll Waste Company (MAWC) will continue to pick up residential trash, said outgoing manager Roger Cooper.

"It’s a land space and equipment issue now," said Cooper on Wednesday.

A plan is ready to extend the dump area, "but nothing can happen until the equipment arrives," he said. A trash compactor, two loaders and an excavator are scheduled to arrive in 30-45 days, he said. The company now has one partially working tractor, which is having difficulty managing the 100 tons per day of garbage that the landfill must handle, said Cooper.

Garbage is piled nearly 50 feet high in the dump, and there is little room for more until the area is expanded.

MAWC’s heavy equipment is almost non-existent and this lack forced temporary closure of the dump last week because the company could not manage the waste coming in. "Trash was out to the gate last week," he said.

"We’ll continue residential collection as long as the dump can accept trash, Cooper said. In the meantime, Public Works and MAWC are working on the expansion."

The expansion plan will allow the landfill to handle garbage through the end of the year when further expansion will be needed, he said.

Cooper, who has managed the waste company since its inception in late 2006, has resigned effective later this month and is heading to Guam. A search is on currently for an interim manager to take over the company.

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