The donation of a new compactor garbage truck to the Nasinu Town Council (NTC) will go a long way in ensuring a cleaner and safer environment for the municipality.

While receiving the donation from the Ambassador of Japan, Takuji Hanatani this week, Ministry of Local Government deputy secretary Josese Rakuita said the machine would contribute immensely to improving Nasinu’s sanitary environment.

The donation of the truck as well as its garage to the town council amounted to about $200,000 and was funded under Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Programme.

“With the new compactor garbage truck, council workers will be able to quickly and properly dispose of kitchen waste. It is expected to generate efficiency gains as more garbage is carried on fewer trips to the Naboro landfill, which is located 29 km away from Nasinu,” Mr Rakuita said.

“The new compactor truck is beneficial to maintain a clean environment as waste will be largely enclosed and very little escapes when the truck is in motion. It is OHS-compliant and labour-friendly with automated features, thus reducing the risk of injury to workmen and lessening their exposure to bacteria and toxic substances that may cause diseases.”

Nasinu special administrator Mosese Kama said with a growing population, the town faced problems with waste disposal.

“Nasinu is the most populous of all the municipalities in Fiji with more than 87,000 people. Based on such challenges, the existing open tip trucks have become insufficient prompting the council to hire additional trucks, which is an added financial burden to us,” Mr Kama said.

“The open tip trucks’ inability to provide sufficient cover for the collected rubbish being carted is also unhygienic, risking the health of the garbage collection workers and the general public.

“This gift from Japan is indeed timely and will certainly assist the council in meeting its obligation of improving sanitary environment here.”

Town council engineering/planning manager Mosese Yavalanavanua said the first of its kind compactor garbage truck for the council, was a big relief for the garbage collectors.

“No manual lifting is required so it will put less strain on the workers. It is also sustainable. We only had three open tip trucks before and we needed to hire other trucks from outside, which would cost us more than $400,000 for hire and maintenance. This donation is cost effective for us,” Mr Yavalanavanua said.