Waste management

Waste is an ever-growing problem in the Pacific. Small islands lack the space and facilities to be able to properly manage waste. The importation of more and more goods contributes to to the growing waste problem.

However, what is a nightmare for people is a heavenly dream for ants!

Not only do rubbish piles provide food and nesting resources, the movement of waste conveniently transports the ants to new locations.

Little fire ants are easily moved in green waste because they live in trees. When branches are cut down, entire nests can be transported.

Fonds Pacifique and SPREP have worked with French Polynesia to develop an integrated waste management strategy to stop the spread of the little fire ant. These principles can easily be used elsewhere in the Pacific. 

Rubbish piles provide a fantastic source of food and nesting locations for invasive ants (© Monica Gruber)

Information sources

Haynes, Richards, Quinquis. 2013. Integrated waste management strategies to minimise the risk of transportation of the Little Fire Ant (Wasmannia auropunctata) in Tahiti, French Polynesia. A report for Fonds Pacifique and SPREP