Recycling on Yap

What can we learn from it?

Guess what? Got up this morning to go driving people around and helped in literally moving America, but found my front driver side tire flat out on its tummy so I came back to my room to write about what I think the recycling process on Yap tells us.

Well, even with 4 cups of French Roast freshly brewed coffee consumed, my brain is not at full capacity yet. Had to wake up at 1 AM, thanks to facebook messenger and fb friends that have no idea there’s a time difference in this world. Only if the world is flat and free from garbage so we can all live in the same time zone and have a beautiful world with no stinky landfills to worry about. 

On the island of Yap, recycling is off to a wonderful start. Couldn’t be more prouder to call myself a Yapese. But looking at the statistics coming out of Yap, it bothers the heck out of me, here size do matter. Hehehe. Or quantity do matter! 

According to a facebook post, (sorry I lost the link but I wrote the info down, please help me find it if you could) on average, Yap recycles over 2 million containers per year, that’s roughly over 165,000 containers per month. It’s a success! 

It is indeed a success. I believe in recycling but in this great success lies a very disturbing fact. Yapese are eating and drinking more processed food than ever before. That’s a fact that cannot be overlooked. 

Wondering why more and more of our people are dying of heart-attack? 

I have been away from Yap for far too long but I am still hearing Yapese finding expired canned goods on shelves in our stores. I heard of Yapese gone fishing and sold their catches to buy canned tuna. Taro sold to buy rice. Chewing Gum replacing Bettlenut. Chinese tobacco instead of Fais locally grown and produced cigarette. 


Have you wonder what went into that Chinese tobacco compared with the locally grown Fais produced one? 

So it’s a great thing that our state of Yap is leading in recycling but we must also understand that if we stay true to our local ways of subsistence farming and food making, there will be no need for a recycling process. 

I cannot argue against the convenience of buying and eating processed foods but if they are killing our people, then something ought to be done. 

Instead of relying on imported foods, our state government should put lots of effort in bringing back the FRANKO dude to help revitalize the taro patches and gardens. Instead of importing canned seafood, our government should encourage buying from local fishermen. 

Our stores in Yap should be required to buy from our fishermen and from the local farmers of taro and breadfruit and other locally grown foods. 

Our state of Yap should help encourage and even subsidize fishing and farming villagers/atolls to ensure that fresh and locally grown produce and locally caught fish are available for our stores and our people. 

There must be emphasis in buying and eating local. If it’s for the sake of our people, the government of Yap must lead the way by ensuring that the only products serve at its school cafeterias are locally caught or produced. 

Thanks to the recycling data, we now have proof that our people needs a healthier and better choice, stay healthy by eating locally produced and locally made food, it’s the Yapese way! The only way.