Composting; Biodegradable; Solid Waste Management


Most of the garbage in American Samoa heads to the landfill in Futiga on the island of Tutuila. Reports indicate that the landfill is expected to reach critical capacity in 2015. Some have started to look into advanced technology to deal with the problem, which could lead to millions of dollars of government spending. Our study focuses on how to reduce solid waste through composting, a natural way to recycle organic or biodegradable waste. Composting is a great option to look into since about fifty percent of waste sent to the landfill is biodegradable and because it is easily done with little or no cost and is beneficial to the environment.

This study is divided into two parts. First, research will be done through the internet, interviews will be conducted with experts, and a survey will be done to determine the composting methods done on island, awareness of the current landfill situation, awareness on composting and if it is conducted at home, and if those surveyed agree that composting would be beneficial for proper solid waste management in American Samoa. Second, a simple method of composting will be created to share with the public so that everyone may have the opportunity to begin his or her own compost pile. Preliminary data shows that 62% of the people know about the landfill capacity problem, 68% know what composting is, and 33% of households conduct their own composting. Approximately 76% of the people surveyed practice the 3Rs: reuse, reduce, and recycle. This study shows that composting is a practical means for reducing waste in American Samoa.