Pacific Resource Infrastructure Facility (PRIF)

Established in 2008 to provide technical assistance, research and knowledge products on key infrastructure issues to Pacific island countries

and as a coordination facility for the principal development partners in the region.

Cook Islands profile in the solid waste and recycling sector

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This Pacific Country/Territory Profile in the solid waste and recycling sector was published in 2018 as part of a compendium of fifteen individual country profiles that seek to identify and quantify the opportunity to improve the resource recovery of fifteen common commodities1 present in the solid waste stream. The research study was commissioned by PRIF in 2017 – the ‘Regional Resource Circulation and Recycling Network’ – to address the challenges faced in the Pacific region in providing sustainable management systems for an increasing and diversifying range of waste materials, driven mainly by changing urbanisation patterns, globalised markets, wealth redistribution and the resultant changing lifestyles. The compendium document is also available here

Other individual profile reports are linked here:

Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Guam, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

The Country and Territory Profiles were prepared detailing country-specific information which was used to inform other elements of the research. The first phase of the study conducted a material flow analysis of imports and exports, estimated the available materials for recovery and quantified the expected increase in commodities based on various policy interventions. The study also identified waste disposal infrastructure and service provision, reviewed current institutional frameworks, identified port infrastructure and shipping logistics and estimated plastic marine debris in the Pacific nations. The study examined further the potential to establish a regional network to improve the recovery, and where feasible, recycling of solid waste, in a manner that meets economic, social and environmental objectives.

The research was conducted by Anne Prince and Debra Mackeen, following desktop data analysis, extensive consultations and visits to Fiji, Palau, Samoa and American Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The project is managed by Jack Whelan, Secretariat Manager, PRIF Coordination Office, guided by a technical implementation committee including specialists from PRIF member agencies and in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

1 PET (plastic) beverage containers; Glass bottles; Steel cans; Aluminium cans; Paper and cardboard; Electronic ‘E-waste’; White goods; Used oil; Used lead-acid batteries; Lithium batteries; Scrap steel, ferrous and non-ferrous metals; Tyres; End-of-life vehicles; End-of-life renewable energy equipment, for example, solar panels and inverters; plastic shopping bags.