Fiji encourages recycling, waste management to protect environment

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SUVA, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — In an effort to protect the environment, the Fijian government is encouraging recycling and waste management business with a new tax incentive.

Fiji’s Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development Premila Kumar said Thursday that Nasinu Town Council, a heavily populated area outside Fijian capital Suva, was chosen as one of the five towns to be part of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) Sustainable Urban Resource Management (SURM) initiative in the Asia-Pacific region.

She said the initiative is linked to the Sustainable Development Goal 11, which aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Kumar said they have identified and declared a tax-free zone where companies could set up their own recycling facilities just outside Suva in Naboro along the Queen’s Road.

Companies operating in the Naboro zone where the current landfill is would be granted an income tax exemption for capital investments, import duty exemption on raw materials, plant machinery and other equipment.

Kumar said this project is in line with the Fijian government’s vision to turn waste into resource.

The key focus of this pilot project is to improve waste management, reduce volume of residential waste, increase resource recovery of goods for recycling or reprocessing from waste, reduce incidence of illegal dumping, and improve environmental outcomes including greenhouse gas mitigation.

Nasinu is the second populous municipality after Suva with a population of 92,043 and 17 informal settlements with more than 1,500 households. On average, Nasinu residents generate 20,000 tons of solid waste per year. Enditem

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