Na'gasgas Program comes to a halt - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Na'gasgas Program comes to a halt

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - Illegal dumping in villages is a growing problem and it looks like it may not go away anytime soon. The Mayors Council of Guam struggles to keep their Abandoned Vehicle Program afloat.

It's been two years and the Na'gasgas Program has only serviced three of the island's 19 districts. According to MCOG executive director Angel Sablan, the islandwide cleanup of white goods, abandoned vehicles, scrap metals, and hazardous materials, has officially come to a halt now that Balli Steel's contract ended in September. Sablan worries that the longer the program sits idle, the more illegal dumping will accumulate in the island's villages.

He told KUAM News, "As far as the trash is concerned, they can't keep policing the secondary roads to find out who's really dumping this trash. People are making a conscious effort to just dump it because they don't have money to pay the tipping fee."

Sablan reports that the Na'gasgas Program was inefficient, as Balli Steel needed a subcontractor to pull out abandoned vehicles from the villages, eating up most of the program's money. "And we're trying to work with EPA and we're trying to work with GSA, and of course Tina Muna Barnes to see what's going to happen next."

Yigo mayor Bob Lizama fears it'll be the year 2016 before his village ever gets to have their junk removed, saying, "The very disappointing thing about it is that our people are registering their vehicles for these abandoned vehicle funds and they don't see it go to that particular use...we do ask our residents to continue to be patient for a little longer until they reactivate the program it's very disappointing and frustrating of course that it starts and stops and starts and stops."

In the meantime, Sablan recommends the cleanup program be reworked to not rely on a single contractor. "And I think the better way is we're just going to go and give each mayor a purchase order to remove the junk on their own with their own contractor, a licensed contractor that's permitted and send it to a permitted recycling center that is going to send it off-island," he said. "I think that's the fastest way - to wait for just one contractor to go around the island is going to take awhile."

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