Tinian is hoping to get at least $10 million of the $56 million funding that has been earmarked for the CNMI under the 2019 Disaster Relief Act to use on typhoon waste disposal, and for other solid waste management activities in the Marianas.
Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) had implied that, with funding now available, the open dump site and the lack of sanitary waste facility on Tinian could now possibly be fixed.
In an interview with Saipan Tribune, Senate vice president Sen. Jude Hofschneider (R-Tinian) said that they are hoping to get some funding, to possibly invest in equipment for roadside collection, among others.
“Long-term wise, it is the desire of the leadership to have our own disposal system [on] Tinian, and this is part of the process,” the senator said.
The Tinian government is currently working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and regional experts to move toward zero waste management.
“We found out that, because of the size of our community, we may not fall on the threshold of being required to build a landfill, we may fall under that criterion, and that is significant because that would probably require less funding needs for it but, at the same time, fulfilling the requirement of solid waste disposal,” Hofschneider added.
In the works is a plan to implement a pilot zero-waste management initiative program on Tinian, and it is working with experts to polish the plan.
“This will involve composting, recycling, anything that is associated with dealing with solid waste on Tinian. The plan is in its infancy. We’re still exploring other options. We’ve been also consulting and engaging with EPA,” Hofschneider said.
As for the Tinian transfer station, he said the construction of the facility is now done, but they have yet to come out with the definite time as to when the site will open and operate, as there are still areas that need to be discussed.
“But from the get-go, the municipality has already instituted segregation, primarily green waste facility,” Hofschneider said. “There is an approved green waste facility on Tinian for a few years now. …As far as that is concerned, it’s ongoing, but there are still other components that we need to continue exploring and, hopefully, we can implement them in the foreseeable future.”