Tinian debris shipped to Saipan, then on to Korea

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Posted on Sep 04 2019

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Six-thousand cubic yards of metal Super Typhoon Yutu debris at the Debris Center on Tinian wait to be shipped to Saipan. (IVA MAURIN)

TINIAN—Tinian will soon be shipping some Super Typhoon Yutu debris to Saipan, but FSM Recycling assures that none of the debris will enter the Marpi landfill.

“The debris will not enter the [Marpi] landfill at all. …No landfill. These will head to my yard on Saipan. We [will] final process it and pack it up, and load it to a container and ship it to Korea,” said FSM Recycling owner Eric Cruz in an interview with Saipan Tribune.

He assured that the trash shipment is composed of tin metal roofs that got blown away from homes and other structures on the island during Super Typhoon Yutu.

Cruz said the Federal Emergency Management Agency selected his company to lead the removal of roughly 6,000 cubic yard of metals from the debris center being run by the Solid Waste Division of the Department of Public Works on the island.

The facility belongs to the Department of Public Lands, handled by the Tinian Mayor’s Office operations and is not intended to be a permanent dumpsite but just an emergency site for disaster.

The company ships roughly about six container a week out to Saipan, through Tinian Shipping. The deadline for them to complete the project is Oct. 26, 2019.

“What we do is pick the debris as is, load them on the ship, and move it to my yard on Saipan. There, we process it, pack it, and ship it off-island to Korea [where there are end buyers],” Cruz said.

About 96 cubic yard of metal debris from Super Typhoon Yutu are shipped from Tinian to Saipan daily, to be processed by FSM Recycling. (IVA MAURIN)

Tinian Shipping owner Jack Manglona said they were subcontracted to handle the transportation of the cargo. From the port, they ship the debris to the FSM facility on Saipan with their vessel, where it gets sorted and smashed to cubes, placed in containers and shipped out.

While there is another roll-on/roll-off, drop door boat that comes to Saipan and Tinian, Tinian Shipping is the only one in the island that has the facility to manage and handle scrap metal.

“We only collect what the federal office tells us through the contract. Ninety-six cubic yards per load, traveling 3.5 hours to Saipan (one way), then offload (clean, sanitize, etc.) which takes about half an hour. It takes us about two hours to load, then leave Saipan heading back to Tinian fully loaded with commercial load,” Chris Pangelinan, also of Tinian Shipping, said, in explaining their process of transport.

Pangelinan also said that the people of Tinian are doing all they can, with the help of either the federal government or anything else, to keep the island from getting contaminated. “When these stuff [metal tin roofs] rust into the soil, the land would become bad. We can’t farm it anymore,” he added.

Tinian Shipping ships watermelons and vegetables from Tinian to Saipan, but is currently not able to do so due to the shipment of the debris.

“For the next two months, we won’t be able to do that. It’s one of those balancing acts. …When this [the shipping of debris] ends, our customers might have already found alternative routes. We may have lost that clientele forever. But we are concerned about helping the people of Tinian,” said Pangelinan.

The end goal is to get the debris off the island.

FSM Recycling ships the debris every day to Saipan, and these get shipped to Korea Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com

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