Green waste is a significant issue in Funafuti because of the limited space available for landfill and the large volume of the waste stream it represents (approximately 50%). When it is poorly landfilled, green waste also produces harmful leachates and potent greenhouse gases (methane) and increases the fire risk at landfills. When green waste is burnt, it produces harmful air pollutants and other persistent toxic compounds (dioxins/furans).
Green waste is also a valuable lost resource capable of improving serious soil health deficiencies, such as soil carbon, in Tuvalu and other Pacific island nations and is a potentially important component for effectively managing negative piggery waste impacts and in increasing total agricultural productivity.
The Government of Tuvalu is in the process of developing the National Integrated Waste Policy and Action Plan with a strategic action devoted to recovery of green wastes from the waste stream. The target for that Policy is a reduction of green waste by at least 20 per cent on first year (2017) and progressively by 20% each following year (until 2026), although it should be noted that this target is under review.