PaCE-SD Postgraduate students initiative on proper waste disposal


Their message was simple: to maintain the commitment to having a clean environment, not only from something that has been eye sore for years but also to help preserve our vulnerable ecosystem.

Born out of the necessity to provide avid smokers with a clean space to discard their cigarette butts, the Pacific Centre for Environment & Sustainable Development Postgraduate Students Association came up with the idea of having cigarette bins made from 40-litre drums.

Before the introduction of the bins, discarded cigarette butts would typically line the footpath along the Laucala Campus bus bay area and also outside the Lower Campus.

Heilala Finau, the President of the Association, said that the idea of having the drums was not what they had initially envisaged.

“The initial idea was just a simple sand bed built with timber-filled sand,” she said.

“This idea was proposed to the Secretary General of USP Federal to mitigate littering outside the University but was unsuccessful due to funding and university processes.”

However, the Association persisted and submitted a proposal nonetheless, which proved to be a success and resulted in the student body releasing the funds worth $1,500 to kick start the project.

“The planning took longer; from October to January, I was trying to come up with a design that is durable, resilient and also environmentally friendly, and that’s when the idea of using a 40L drum for durability occurred to me,” she said.

Acting Director of PaCE-SD Associate Professor Dr Awnesh Singh praised the students’ work in developing an important initiative such as this.

“The initiative taken by PaCE-SD postgraduate students is commendable as it shows their commitment to promote a clean environment.”

“PaCE-SD has always been proud of its students, and the success of this recent initiative, although it has taken months to come to fruition, is a testament to their perseverance and commitment to their cause,” he added.

A total of 8 bins are now strategically placed around the Laucala and Lower campuses around places where students and staff normally gather.

With the University banning smoking in all its campuses from January 2021, the PaCE-SD Postgraduate Students Association hopes that the presence of the bins will provide a space where people can enjoy their break but also properly and safely discard their cigarette butts.

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