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GRRP breaks down solid waste strategy

by Krystal Paco

Guam - Guam Resource Recovery Partners strongly believes it has the solution to the island's solid waste management. The company has brought a recognized expert on board as they push their plans to build a landfill and waste-to-energy facility on Guam. And GRRP contends their plans are a win-win for island residents.

"The Layon landfill was designed to solve the problem of closing Ordot…it's successfully done that, and to that we owe, I think, a debt of thanks to the federal court and the receiver for having accomplished that. But now we need a sustainable solution for Guam's solid waste problem," said retired USMC lieutenant general Emerson Gardner, Jr. The solution - the proposed Guatali municipal solid waste landfill facility in Atantano, Santa Rita says Gardner, vice president of Guam Resource Recovery Partners.

"You got the solid waste, which you need to get rid of - convert it into electricity, which you need, then you can use the benefit from selling that electricity for the disposal of the wastes 3027 so it's a win-win solution for the people," he continued.

Gardner is a recognized expert on the Department of Defense programming and budgeting process and is an independent consultant. From 2007 to 2010 he was the principal deputy director and acting director of cost assessment and program evaluation for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was present at Tuesday's public hearing and listened as concerned residents questioned the need for another landfill. Gardner says that the public should know that the newly opened Layon landfill ultimately costs more than the $30 a month residents currently pay for the service - debt he says we don't want to pass on to the generations to come.

"What we have at Layon is not a thirty-year landfill," he explained. "What we have is a five-year landfill in five years, this is how long it's going to take the two cells that they've opened. They must go out and borrow $22 million more to build the next two cells. They must do this every five years."

Instead, Gardner says the Guatali landfill will not only pay for itself, but will produce two times more energy than the island's power plant with one-third the amount of emissions into the air. "There will be a day in the future when the landfill is making money from the electricity. It's not really costing any money to pay off the loan anymore…I really think we're bringing something to the people of Guam that once they fully understand it they'll seek."

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