E-Waste Tonga is working with community partner GIO Recycling to facilitate a nationwide clean up of broken electronics. Electrical waste, known as e-waste contains highly toxic chemicals and components, which when dumped, buried or burnt can lead to severe health and environmental problems for the Tongan community. With Tonga having limited capacity to store and safely manage such wastes, it is of key importance to work with the community to implement a sustainable strategy to avoid serious problems in the future.
The community are encouraged to collect e-waste in the lead up to August 6th, and on the day join in the festivities at the main collection points including a public BBQ between 12-3pm. The main collection point in Tongatapu is GIO Recyling on Tupou Lahi rd, Fasi; Navy base Taufa Ahau wharf in Ha'apai and GIO Recycling in Neiafa in Vava'u. Remote collection points will also be established and advertised on the radio in the lead up to the event.
The GEF funded project aims to set the framework for management of electronic waste within the Kingdom and is a pilot program for the South Pacific. E-Waste Tonga representative Leanne Elliott says “it is an exciting project, we have strong community links following our outer-island workshops earlier in the year and it's wonderful to see the support of the community in participating in the lead up to this event by collecting their waste for safe disposal on the event day”
E-Waste Tonga continues to run the recycling program throughout the year, with electronics able to be delivered to GIO recycling in Vava'u and Tongatapu. Residents in 'Eua and Ha'apai are encourage to store their e-waste in a dry, safe place for the next collection date.
Issued by the: E-Waste Tonga Committee, Nuku'alofa, 2011. Article by: Leanne Elliot, Civil Society of Tonga