Gov’t to provide waste cutting machines to all islands

Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology Aminath Shauna has revealed that waste cutting machines will be provided to all inhabited islands.

Speaking at the Viavathi Raajje conference, Minister Shauna provided information on the waste management centres to be established in the islands and other government initiatives to solve the waste management issues in the country. The minister said that local councils are responsible for the sustainable disposal of waste in the islands by ensuring that different types of waste are separated when they are collected from households.

Furthermore, Minister Shauna said one of the main issues is the transportation of waste and that the new waste management centres established in the islands will have bottle-cutting machines and compact balers. She said that islands will also be provided with vehicles to transport waste.

Currently, waste management work is separated into different zones, with waste from Noonu Atoll, Raa Atoll, Baa Atoll, and Lhaviyani Atoll transported to the regional waste facility in Vandhoo in Raa Atoll, while waste from Haa Alifu Atoll, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, and Shaviyani Atoll are transported to Kunburudhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll. Additionally, waste from Kaafu Atoll and other islands in the region is transported to Thilafushi, while waste from Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, and Fuvahmulah City is transported to the regional waste management facility in Addu City.

The government has been working to solve the waste management issues in the country, which are mainly caused by islands not having a designated landfill area and having no means to sustainably dispose of waste. As such, the new waste management bill has been amended to make it mandatory for local councils to designate a waste management site on each island within one year after the bill is made into law. The bill also hands over numerous waste management-related responsibilities to local councils.