Ha’atafu Community Leading the Way

Ha’atafu Community Leading the Way with Village Waste Management

The Waste Authority and Ha’atafu community have signed an historic service agreement for waste collection for the village.

Ha’atafu have a strong history of paying the monthly waste collection/disposal charges, and taking pride in their clean and green village. However, they found they were having difficulties motivating everyone to pay, and were falling behind in their payments. The Secretary of the Women’s Committee Ms Lavinia and the Town Officer, Mr Tevita Piukana decided to meet with Waste Authority and discuss ways to work together for a sustainable waste collection system.

Their request came at a good time. The Waste Authority is looking for model villages – ways to trial new systems to get full participation and stop the burning and dumping in the rural areas.

The parties agreed to trial a system that delivers waste collection at a more affordable rate. The village will have a total of 15 public bins (10 which they already have). All 37 households will place waste in the bins along the main road. On collection day, the community will place all the bins in one collection area. It is quick for the truck to collect waste for the whole village from one spot. The community will place their organic waste in a separate area, and continue to recycle all metals from the waste stream. This will mean that the waste can easily fit into the 15 bins each week.

The community are very happy with the agreement. It means they can afford to have their waste removed every week, and their village will maintain its high standard of being clean, green and healthy.

Rather than billing individual houses, the Waste Authority will send a bill to the whole village. They can work together as a community to raise the money, and have already paid three months in advance from a fund-raising concert.

The monthly rate has been reduced, as the community are doing all they can to minimize waste and to make the work easier. “This marks a milestone for WAL” said CEO Mr Tapu Panuve. “It shows we want to work with the community to come up with systems that work for both parties. By working together we can achieve a cleaner Tonga”.