In assessing these options, the U.S. military held the assumption that the present dumpsite situated at Puntan Diablo on Tinian — the area where the Chinese team of investors is planning to develop in an integrated resort — will be closed and that a transfer station has been considered.
MARFORPAC environmental specialist Sherri Eng said the dumpsite is not something that the military will have the ability to use.
Just by looking at the requirements and the benefits of the options researched, Eng said that the simplest are the off-island disposal.”
In choosing the off-island disposal alternative, the parties might need to check in the capacity of the Marpi landfill to adapt the waste coming from Tinian — both military and civilian waste.
Eng, at a meeting with the regional regulatory agencies and officials walked them through the three systems being considered.
Choice 1: Incineration
Eng said the system that calls for the use of incinerator or waste-to-energy system requires a”properly sized incinerator,” fenced site, ash landfill, wastewater disposal, trained operators and secondary disposal site for C&D or construction and demolition waste, green waste, recyclables and white goods.
She stated that this system could cause significant waste reduction and energy production.
However, there are challenges to be met: siting and permitting, maintaining consistent operations, the demand for waste and sorting monitoring, high first cost, high maintenance cost and deadline for building.
“Construction timeline is long. It’s not something that we can install tomorrow,” said Eng.
Department of Public Works Secretary Martin C. Sablan said about the CNMI getting an incinerator that it never used owing to the difficulty of permitting through the regulatory agencies.
Choice 2: Fukuoka Landfill
The Fukuoka landfill is a fresh approach to managing solid waste. It’s a semi-aerobic landfill with a leachate gathering pipe set up in the landfill floor that drains the leachate into a treatment facility.
This method does not expect a synthetic liner.
But if that were to be chased, Tinian will need an additional 15 hectares and the use of specific structure material.
The MARFORPAC agents said they have conducted research on this method.
It had been done in Palau, Yap and American Samoa but nowhere else in the continental United States due to permitting.
“We must find some kind of waiver,” said Eng mentioning that it is not a permitted system in the U.S.
But with Fukuoka method, there is a capability to convert the existing dumpsite on Tinian.
As for leachate, the military is contemplating to upsize its waste water treatment facility to adapt this if this were the option to think about.
As the Fukuoka landfill will need clay, Eng said their study showed the deficiency of the material on Tinian; nonetheless it was indicated there’s a source in Papago.
Choice 3: Off-island Entry
This alternative proposes to use the existing Marpi landfill.
With this option, Eng stated there will be no additional land requirements.
She explained that this centralizes waste management system on Saipan.
But Eng was quick to point out that among the challenges will be how to manage the perception that Saipan becomes a dumping ground.
The military also sees the necessity to upgrade shipping infrastructure.
“We are willing to accept military waste,” said DPW Secretary Martin C. Sablan.
He explained they had excavated the floor to construct the next cell of the landfill facility.
With this option, Eng assured that”whatever we do, we’re likely to take the Tinian waste .”
Asked by DPW if the military were to foot the bill for shipping and transport of this waste, Eng stated,”We consent to discover the solution and hope to obtain the solution.” She explained she could not commit to anything.
Sablan said it’ll charge less for the military to bring their waste to Saipan but the municipality will be needing assistance.
Eng remarked that the options has to be brought down to 2.
“I do not believe we’ve got the time and money to do all three,” she explained.
Transport channel is key
As they mulled the prospective solutions to Tinian’s solid waste problems, Eng stated it is supposed that there’ll be a transfer channel.
“Transport channel is important in all these sytems,” she explained.
Closure of this dumpsite
Tinian Mayor Ramon M. Dela Cruz pointed out It Is not the responsibility of the developer to close the Present dumpsite in Puntan Diablo.
He, however, stated that Alter City has dedicated to providing around $5 million in assistance.
Asked by CIP’s Elizabeth Balajadia if they might continue to utilize the dumpsite for five more years, Tinian Mayor’s Office chief of staff Don Farrell stated”five years is too long.”
Mayor Dela Cruz stated three years would be fair.
“That will permit the developer to work on the adjacent property,” he explained.
Alter City Group is proposing to build a golf course in the present site of the dumpsite.
Alter City dedicated to help
In a hearing prior to the CNMI legislature last week, Alter City’s legal counsel Rober Torres stated,”Investor is prompted to help in its elimination.”
Mayor Dela Cruz said three years would be reasonable.
“That will allow the developer to work on the adjacent property,” he said.
Alter City Group is proposing to build a golf course at the current site of the dumpsite.
Alter City committed to assist
At a hearing before the CNMI legislature last week, Alter City’s legal counsel Rober Torres said, “Investor is motivated to assist in its removal.”
But he said the government too has to pitch in.