To regulate the management of wastes and chemicals in accordance with accepted international practices and the International Conventions applying to the use, transboundary movement and disposal of wastes and substances: * solid waste * liquid waste * hazardous waste * Waste Management Act 2005 * Hazardous Waste and Chemical Act 2010 * Waigani Convention * Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants * Basel Convention * Rotterdam Convention *
Pollution of the environment from waste is a world-wide problem, and the Pacific island nations including Tonga increasingly share this problem. Problem with waste remains a high priority concern in Tonga. It has been identified that waste is poorly managed to some extent, which creates a detrimental effect on the environment and the people and, as such, created a barrier to economic development. There are three (3) key areas that the Waste Management & Pollution Control Section is responsible for: solid & liquid waste, hazardous waste & chemicals and other waste. Each causes significant human health and/or environmental effects. Key concerns associated with solid and liquid waste include: • mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue—solid waste poorly disposed of becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and dengue outbreaks are common • water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery and other gastrointestinal illnesses and skin diseases caused by drinking water contaminated by human and animal waste • environmental effects of increased nutrients in coastal waters and groundwater • aesthetic effects of litter and indiscriminate dumping of solid waste in drains and waterways, and on public and unoccupied private land. The Section is also responsible for ensuring that the Waste Management Act 2005, the Hazardous Waste and Chemical Act 2010 and the signed International Agreements are implemented.