30 August 2019: Samoa is undertaking an innovative programme to manage hazardous waste, specifically waste oil, with the aim of promoting regional collaboration for long-term solutions to waste management.

The Samoa Waste Oil Management Programme (SWOMP) will bring together importers, sellers and users of engine oils and other hazardous fluids to share the costs of managing oil and fluid waste. Through this initiative, Samoa will export collected waste oil for use as an alternate energy source to provide fuel for the Blue Scope Steel Factory in Fiji, which will smelt the waste scrap steel, thereby reducing demand for new fuel resources. A fee will be applied to every liter of waste oil collected, to ensure the programme’s sustainability and continued export of waste from the region.

During the launch, Pacific island countries and territories were encouraged to implement more regional collaboration by using the oil management programme, which is being viewed as a regional waste management model.

Funding for intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and other equipment is provided by the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) through the Pacific Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) Reduction Project, which is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

SWOMP was launched on 30 August in Apia, Samoa, during the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Noumea Convention (Convention for the Protection of Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region) and the tenth meeting of the COP to the Waigani Convention (Convention to Ban the Importation into Forum Island Countries of Hazardous and Radioactive Wastes and to Control the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes within the South Pacific Region). [SPREP News Story]