Waste management


As one of the major problem of the Pacific islands, waste management, is made difficult by the double or triple insularity and the isolation and low capacity of human and financial resources. This unmanaged waste increases the risk of spreading disease contaminating soils, marine ecosystems and freshwater systems. They prevent the development of sectors such as fisheries, agriculture and tourism.

- Respecting regulatory frameworks

In the Pacific, toxic and hazardous waste management refers to international agreements such as the Basel Convention (transport and treatment by authorised companies) or the Waigani Convention. In the OCTs, the responsibility for waste management lies within a regulatory framework specific to each territory, which defines collection methods, fees, storage, selective sorting and recycling.

- Optimise waste management

Optimising waste management involves public awareness campaigns on sorting, recycling and the use of waste disposal sites. From a technical point of view, it is a question of implementing proven techniques (compacting, grinding glass, etc.). At the regional level, discussions are currently being set up to optimise or even pool management processes with regional waste collection, particularly hazardous waste.

- Provide support for the OCT

INTEGRE has supported numerous actions to improve waste management at local, territorial and regional level, particularly in the islands of Wallis and Futuna, which made it a priority.

For geographical reasons, including relative isolation, small areas available and multiple vulnerable areas, the range of waste management options is limited in most Oceania island countries. In this part of the world, the thresholds are quickly reached and solutions do not lie in individual action. Collective actions are necessary, both for economic reasons (investment, time or research) and because it is the only way to counteract the threshold effects made by the isolation and the small size of countries (e.g. the need to collect a certain volume of recyclable materials to be able to process them effectively).

Many regional initiatives are addressing these issues. Since 2010, the annual conferences of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) have consistently identified solid waste management - particularly hazardous waste such as asbestos, electronic waste, waste oils and medical waste - and marine pollution control as regional priorities. Several projects are implemented under the leadership of SPREP, which is the lead agency in this area. Most of these projects are implemented in ACP countries.


Download our technical sheet on sustainable waste management technical sheet on sustainable waste management



The activity "Integration of OCTs in the promotion of integrated waste management in the Pacific" intended to help countries develop cost-effective and self-sufficient waste management systems to protect public health and the environment, while stimulating economic growth. It is meant to evolve according to the progress and results of the projects implemented by the SPREP. The CPS/PROE partnership has enabled the management of various actions :

Participate in the technical exchange days on the regulated waste management system : At the initiative of the South Province, 2 days dealing specifically with the theme of waste regulated by the EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) were organised. The aim was to make an inventory of the EPR system, seven years after its implementation in the Southern Province, to reflect on actions that could improve its functioning, as well as the prospects for evolution. Exchanges and debates were organized and the INTEGRE project was involved in animating the conference on waste management in island countries in the South Pacific.

Journées REP

Participate in studies on waste oils and end-of-life lead-acid batteries : A study carried out in 2015 in 14 countries in the region (GEFPAS financing) was conducted with the aim of analysing the cost-benefit of possible solutions for recycling waste oils and batteries. The extension of this study (in September 2015) to an OCT (Wallis and Futuna) within the framework of the INTEGRE project made it possible to widen the scope of the study, to enhance the work carried out on the spot with the support of INTEGRE, to link the OCTs to regional discussions on the management of hazardous waste and to provide direct advice to the territory of Wallis and Futuna with a view to the management of this hazardous waste.

huiles batt WF

- Review the legal frameworks governing transboundary movements of wastes in the Pacific (limits and technical solutions) : Oceania countries and territories rarely have the infrastructure to deal with hazardous wastes. They are therefore forced to export their hazardous waste to foreign treatment centres. These transfers are governed by international or regional texts (Basel Convention / Waigani Convention). Currently, the OCTs cannot export their hazardous waste among themselves or to countries that have not ratified the same convention. The aim of the study was therefore to take stock of the situation (regulations and methods of implementation by the various countries), to diagnose the problems encountered and to propose possible solutions in the form of scenarios.

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In addition, INTEGRE (co-financing by SPREP) allowed the participation of the OCT (New Caledonia / French Polynesia) in the workshop / training (20-23 July 2015) organised around a general presentation of the regulations in force, including a discussion on their interpretation, then work on the practical aspects of their implementation (contacts, procedures...). This workshop was a response to the difficulties encountered in practice in the Territories.

- Participate in a better management of asbestos in the region : Within this framework, an expertise and consulting mission was carried out with the following objectives: to carry out a prospective study on the management of environmental asbestos waste in geographical areas facing this problem, i.e. throughout the territory of New Caledonia and internationally; and to propose technical solutions adapted to the island context of New Caledonia for the management of asbestos waste. The proposed solutions result from the analysis of the different treatment techniques identified throughout the world.


As part of the regional actions, the second regional technical workshop focused on "Integrated waste management in the Pacific".

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This workshop was held from April 18 to 22, 2016 in Nouméa under the theme "waste management".

The issue of waste in the Pacific area

The small Pacific island states and countries, due to their social, economic and ecological characteristics (isolation, small size, remoteness, low human resources, population density...) face their own waste management challenges.

Proper waste management is a major challenge for the sustainable development of Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) due to the impact of poor waste management on the environment, as well as on public health, water quality, fisheries, agriculture, tourism and quality of life in general.

Themes addressed during the workshop

This technical workshop provided an opportunity to share and analyse waste management experiences in Pacific countries to help them identify effective and self-sufficient waste management systems that protect public health and the environment, while stimulating economic growth.

The technical workshop provided feedback as well as concrete collective work to enable participants to make progress on the following topics :

  • Legislation and governance
  • Waste management systems: financial and economic considerations
  • Special and hazardous waste
  • Involvement of populations in waste reduction and management and awareness-raising actions
  • Landfills

It thus enabled experts from the waste sector from English-speaking and French-speaking OCTs to exchange information and experience on the technical, legal and financial issues surrounding the strengthening of waste prevention and management. The 43 participants (New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Fiji, Samoa, Micronesia, SPREP) were able to share and analyse best practices in this area. The workshop also strengthened networks and cooperation on waste management at both local and regional levels.

                                atelier dechet wallis atelier region

The results and lessons learned from this workshop are summarized in the report Regional Technical Workshop on Waste Management

Workshops presentations (in French) :

This activity aimed to encourage the sharing of pilot sites' experiences with other Pacific countries on sustainable environmental management issues. The objective was to contribute to the integration of the OCTs in the region through bilateral exchanges with "mirror" sites and to create informal networks. The aim was to develop synergies between territories, benefit from relevant feedback and create links between the OCTs and between the OCTs and the other countries and territories of the Pacific. Some of these exchanges focused on waste management:

- New Caledonia - New Zealand : "hazardous waste" mission report

This discussion enabled participants to meet some thirty professionals during 12 visits to companies or organizations working in the field of waste in the North Island of New Zealand (see details in appendices 6 and 7). Field visits (8 waste management sites) took place in the following three locations: Auckland, Wellington, Hastings-Napier. Thus, as the meetings progressed and the technical or regulatory documents collected became available, the New Zealand comparison stimulated the participants' reflection on the technical-economic and regulatory approaches prevailing in New Caledonia and their possible evolution.

New Caledonia-New Zealand (2017): Report of the hazardous waste mission to New Zealand (in French)

Echange dechets dang nz

- Wallis and Futuna-Fiji: Exchanges of experience on the burial crate construction process using the Fukuoka method

As part of the INTEGRE activities in Wallis and Futuna, the mission took place from April 25 to 29, 2016 in Labasa, Fiji. As the current Technical Burial Centre (TBC). at Vailepo in Wallis reaches its maximum storage capacity, it becomes necessary to install a new crate. Similarly in Futuna, a management strategy for Moasa's TBC needs to be redefined in order to improve its functioning. Thus, the main purpose of the mission was to visit the Namara centre in Labasa. The latter uses the Fukuoka method, created by the university and the city of Fukuoka in 1965 in Japan. It is developing a semi aerobic, low-cost waste management technique using local or recovered materials. Thus, this mission allowed an exchange of experience between the Agents of the Wallis and Futuna Environment Service and the agents of the Namara TBC as well as with the invited participants, the Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) and SPREP. Beyond the visit of the TBC, the aim was to benefit from the knowledge of specialists and feedback on the application of the method.

Wallis and Futuna-Fidji (2016) : Exchanges of experiences on the Fukuoka landfill process (in French)


- New Caledonia-New Zealand : Strengthening local capacity for waste recovery

The recovery of glass waste was still in the initial phase of installation in New Caledonia. Its development has furthermore not been part of a community approach comparable to the one currently under way in Touho. Therefore, it seemed relevant to the actors to deepen all the previous themes by carrying out a study mission with resource actors (institutions, companies, associations) having a greater experience in the matter in New Zealand and to expose the results.

  • Observe and capitalise on New Zealand's experience with the use of glass sand, particularly in beach nourishment and the manufacture of concrete for construction.

  • Present the situation in the project area (Touho and ZCNE) to the various interlocutors met in order to benefit from their technical expertise in setting up a recovery chain

  • Meet the institutional, economic and associative stakeholders in waste management and recovery in order to enrich the local know-how of the various stakeholders involved in the mission, and to initiate sustainable partnerships.

  • Reinforce the local dynamics initiated in Touho by enabling the working group to find itself in a common process of discovery and learning.

New Caledonia-New Zealand (2017) : Strengthening local capacities for waste recovery in the World Heritage area of Tua Cémuhî (in French)

Glass sand" booklet: en verre & contre tout...le gaspillage (in French)


Proper waste management is a major challenge for the sustainable development of Pacific Island Countries and Territories (OISTs) because of the deleterious impact that deficiencies can have on the regional environment, as well as on public health, water quality, fisheries, agriculture, tourism and quality of life in general.

In Wallis and Futuna, numerous actions on waste management were carried out because this theme had been identified by the territory as a priority :

-  Export hazadous waste : Wallis and Futuna does not have a regulatory infrastructure for the treatment of hazardous waste that threatens health and the environment (oils, batteries, batteries, hospital waste, etc). This waste is difficult to dispose of given the constraints of isolation and the very high cost of treatment and export. On the request of the Wallis-Et-Futuna authorities, the INTEGRE project supported the development of sustainable export chains for hazardous waste including the introduction of selective sorting, collection from private individuals and professionals, analysis, packaging and disposal of historical stocks. INTEGRE and the Service de l'Environnement du Territoire de Wallis-et-Futuna worked with the Caledonian company SOCADIS, an expert in the export of hazardous waste. By the end of the INTEGRE project, the historical stock of oils (200 m3) and batteries (300 tons) have been exported to New Zealand for processing. The transport and disposal of hazardous waste is subject to the Basel Convention, ratified by the European Union, which controls and regulates its transboundary movements as well as its disposal in accordance with precise standards (analysis, takeover by approved companies, exports to countries with the capacity, then decontamination).

Déchets dangereux

- Close and rehabilitate the Futuna landfill : In Futuna, for more than 20 years, household waste, batteries, animal corpses, wrecks and car engines (...) were deposited in an uncontrolled manner in the Nanu'u landfill, causing numerous nuisances and pollution. Futuna's two chefferies and the Territory's higher administration wanted INTEGRE to assist them in closing the landfill and developing an alternative solution. In July 2016, the landfill was closed définitivement, fenced and revegetated. Residents are now invited to use the new Technical Burial Centre (TBC). The involvement of chefferies allows a strong mobilization of the population and gives guarantees of sustainability of this environmental awareness.


Nanu'u landfill site before and after site closure and rehabilitation

In New-Caledonia :

- Evacuating wrecks : INTEGRE supported the collection and removal of 70 end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) in the municipality of Ouégoa in July 2015. A second operation of 200 vehicles registered in the commune of Poindimié took place fin 2017.


In French Polynesia :

- Reducing pollution from economic activities : On the request of the authorities and in conjunction with the French Polynesian Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Crafts, INTEGRE has developed a pilot project for waste management by professionals (garages and careening workshops) on the islands of Raiatea and Tahaa. The Hava'i Community of Communes then collected, stored in new suitable containers and then transported the waste to the island of Tahiti where it was treated. In parallel, a communication campaign is being conducted to enhance the value of participating professionals and raise awareness among the population whose emptying bills could increase.

Déchets PF

- Guidelines for constructing simple models of dry toilets suitable for Pacific islands use : this guide contains instructions for constructing very simple but effective models of dry toilets in a rural environment and in situations of low financial means. These toilets are hygienic and work just as well as conventional toilets using a septic tank. All materials used are normally available in the remote and isolated Oceania islands.

Toilettes seches

WF Futuna CPS nov2013 16

INTEGRE aimed to strengthen the integration of OCTs into regional networks by offering them financial or technical opportunities to participate in the networks, either by facilitating their access to the networks or by organising specific sessions so that they could meet, exchange and share their experiences with their counterparts, or finally by financing bilingual studies on subjects of common interest to the OCTs or the ACP. However, the integration of the OCTs into regional networks cannot be decreed, it is built on the basis of meetings, interests, wills and even personalities who promote cooperation or seek to see how things work elsewhere. Thus, depending on the themes, the dynamics have been more or less strong.

On regional waste management, the territories were unequally involved in this theme within the framework of INTEGRE. Nevertheless, the relationships created will have to be maintained thereafter, and several guarantees of sustainability are already appearing: the professional network being set up by the SPREP has a long-term maintenance objective, the involvement of the OCTs in the elaboration of the regional strategy places them at the heart of the mechanism, like the other member countries of the SPREP (the participation of ACP countries is fully financed), the technical relations between WF, Fiji and the SPREP around the "Fukuoka" method are materialised with the design of a "long-term" locker in Wallis...  Finally, the study on the regional management of hazardous waste must not remain a dead letter on a shelf, and the OCT political authorities must use it to enter into a collaborative and cooperative framework for the optimal management of their hazardous waste, as proposed in the study.

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