American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. roughly 2,300 air miles southwest of Honolulu and about 2,700 miles north of Australia. The largest and most populated island in American Samoa is Tutuila, which is located the territory’s historic capitol of Pago Pago. The territory is home to the world’s largest tuna cannery. Population growth has been dramatic and the island’s energy costs have increased substantially in recent years. The American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) is responsible for solid waste collection and disposal in the territory with landfilling being the primary mode of waste disposal. However, limited available land on the main island due to volcanic topography limits the long-term use of landfilling as the island’s sole waste management tool. The relative isolated location of American Samoa and the instability of world oil markets have prompted ASPA to look at more environmentally and economically sustainable means of solid waste management. As an outgrowth of its research, ASPA submitted and received a technical assistance grant from the U.s. Department of the Interior to conduct an extensive waste composition study and EfW feasibility study to examine the advantages and disadvantages of efW for American Samoa. The results of these studies have been completed by SCS on behalf of ASPA, which is currently taking steps to permit and procure a 2.0 megawatt, modular efW facility that will go online in 2012 as part of a public private partnership. The lessons learned by SCs and ASPA during the course of the investigations are illustrative of the types of long-term, waste management and energy decision-making that many small communities will have to undertake to attain viable and sustainable alternatives.

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