Japanese government funds truck for abandoned vehicle recycling

truck funding

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 28, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—The government of Japan has donated $76,616 for a three ton truck and a scale for use by the Environmental Protection Agency. This morning Pohnpei’s Governor Marcelo Peterson and EPA officials signed the grant paperwork at the home of Japanese Ambassador Ryoichi Horie.
After the paper work was signed, Ambassador Horie presented the check to the EPA.
The truck will be used for recovery of abandoned vehicles around the island which will then be sold at salvage prices.
Ambassador Horie said that during his recent trip to Yap he toured the recycling center there and found it to be a bit further along than Pohnpei’s fledgling program. But he said that he was encouraged that Pohnpei is making strides to make its recycling program even stronger.

Governor Peterson said that the EPA is certainly making efforts to strengthen the recycling program. He said that he has appreciated Japan’s ongoing support, beginning with the renovation of the building that is being used for the project, along with donations of equipment including the most recent donation of the three ton truck and scale.
Governor Peterson started a recycling program when he was the Mayor of Kolonia Town. He later turned it over to Pohnpei State which passed a law establishing the program, including a can import fee. It also provided $100,000 for the startup of the program. Peterson said that since then the program has recycled over seven million cans.
He said that the startup of the program was shaky, mainly due to the large numbers of cans that were already on the island. When it first started, he learned that in the 1970’s when people didn’t know what to do with their cans, they buried them—mostly empty Schlitz cans, the popular beer of the day. When the recycling program began, people began digging those cans up and turning them in for redemption. It was a strain on the program that wasn’t initially anticipated but he said that he hopes to one day be able to have more redemption days in order to make the process of recycling easier for those who collect cans and to avoid cans sitting around the island waiting for the day that the program accepts cans.

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