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The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has spotlighted efforts in the Pacific Hazardous Waste (PacWaste) project's pilot integrated atoll solid waste management system to tackle the issue of used lead-acid batteries (ULABs).

PacWaste is an €7.85 million, four-year project funded by the EU and implemented by SPREP aimed at improving hazardous waste management among Pacific island countries in the priority areas of asbestos, e-waste, healthcare waste and atoll waste management.

SPREP30 September 2015: The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has spotlighted efforts in the Pacific Hazardous Waste (PacWaste) project’s pilot integrated atoll solid waste management system to tackle the issue of used lead-acid batteries (ULABs). PacWaste is an €7.85 million, four-year project funded by the EU and implemented by SPREP aimed at improving hazardous waste management among Pacific island countries in the priority areas of asbestos, e-waste, healthcare waste and atoll waste management.

According to SPREP, the demonstration project in Majuro, Marshall Islands seeks to set up a replicable model integrated solid waste management system that not only tackles management of routine household wastes, but also handles specific hazardous wastes identified as problematic for Pacific islands, such as ULABs. The Majuro project has sought to create a financially sustainable mechanism to collect and remove ULABs from the atoll, where thousands of ULABs are estimated to accumulate annually.

PacWaste is creating a buyback fund for purchasing ULABs from the public and then export the collected batteries to recyclers in other countries. The revenue from export sales to recyclers will help feed the buyback fund. PacWaste hopes this system will raise the current ULAB 10% collection rate to 90%.

PacWaste is also training programme participants in safe handling practices for ULABs and providing model memoranda of understanding (MOUs) to govern relations between key stakeholders. The lessons learned in the process will be shared with other Pacific Island countries participating in PacWaste. [SPREP Update] [PacWaste Website]

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