Green waste management disposal plan announced - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Green waste management disposal plan announced

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - Today the Guam Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will be partnering with the National Park Service in launching a pilot project using the air curtain burner to dispose of green waste without spreading invasive species.

As the battle against invasive species rages on and the efforts to get a handle on green waste around the island is in high gear a viable solution for both may have been identified with the introduction of the air curtain burner. Guam EPA Administrator Eric Palacios said, "I will say that I am extremely confident that it will immediately result in positively addressing the invasive species situation."

Not to be confused with an incinerator the air curtain burner also called a burn box uses a curtain of air that flows over the fire and contains the fire in the box. "Which basically is a metal box with a retractable lid and so the only fire that really or the only element that is need to get it is you light the initial waste that is in there with a lighter or match regular household items and the machine does the rest," he said.

Palacios says the air curtain burner is completely safe and legal, saying, "If so it will be very, very little again because it has a retractable roof."

Unlike conventional fires which die out as soon as it is covered by a lid the fire contained within the box will not because air is actively pumped into the fire to keep it going allowing the green waste being burned to be reduced to ashes that can then be used by the farming community by mixing it with soil. Another benefit of the burn box according to Palacios is that it is mobile which will help reduce the chance of spreading invasive species such as the rhinoceros beetle and little fire ant.  "It could be brought to different places around the island mayors green waste sites for example so that we don't further spread the fire ant for example and it can be burned on site in a controlled very safe and stable manner," he said.

Island residents are advised to not transport green waste that is knowingly infested with the rhinoceros beetle and little fire ant, instead contact your village mayor. To see the air curtain burner in action residents are invited to the War in Pacific National Historical Park in Asan on Monday at 2pm.

Guam EPA will closely monitor the use of the air curtain burners, and it will require that the company follow all applicable procedures to secure a processing permit. Air curtain burners are widely accepted and used throughout the United States, and it is a safer alternative to open burning. This growing technology is available on Guam, and it makes sense to put it to good use for everyone's benefit," Palacios added.

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