Meet the Guam Solid Waste Authority's new GM - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Meet the Guam Solid Waste Authority's new GM

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Greg Martin doesn't mind talking trash.  After all, he's the new boss at the Guam Solid Waste Authority, actually the agency's first ever General Manager.  He is a Marine Corps veteran with 40 years worth of experience in transportation, in both the public and private sectors.  He spent ten years with Waste Management, the world's largest waste and environmental management company based in Houston Texas.

He told KUAM News, "I came in as an operations manager right out of the marine corps. And I looked at the troops and the drivers about the same kind of operations I had daily, whether its dispatch or customer complaints or working with the local governments. I think a lot of that is going to help me here working with the local governments here. I had residential, I had commercial, I had roll-off, I even had portalets and street sweeping. So I'm real familiar with the different operations that go on at a trash company."

Guam's trash operations have been under a federal court-ordered receivership  due to violations of the clean water act.  It was under receiver Gershman Brickner and Bratton, who took control of the islandwide trash system in 2008, that the old Ordot dump was finally closed, and the Layon landfill was opened.

Martin said, "To come here and see what the receivership has taken from what I understand was an attempt to collect the weekly residential trash, it wasn't very effective. It was questionable whether trucks were going to be on the routes. I think what they've put together right now is something that I can build on. And I think that the residents here should be very comfortable that their trash collection is going to continue to get better."

GSWA is expected to take over from the receiver in December.  Martin says he wants to continue the positive developments, and is looking forward to  leading the "new" Guam Solid Waste Authority, saying, "We have some great people here that I've met. Very enthusiastic, administratively in the office out here. My drivers, are really concerned about their day-to-day operations. I'm excited about the people we have in place, and I think the support I have from the Guam government is really exciting."

Martin has been on the job for less than a month, but has identified what his priorities are, noting, "First of all I want to make sure that our drivers, they call them loaders here, I call them helpers, I want to make sure that they're all very secure in their positions. I think that's a major concern here and you've got to make sure that their confident that they have a position after the receivership leaves, and we're working on that right now to make that happen.  Secondly, I want to continue with the recycling programs. We know we have a brand new landfill and when you're talking about age of landfill that comes back to all these small programs."

He's working toward a seamless transition from receivership to a semi-autonomous government agency.  And his measure of success is:  If no one talks trash. He said, "I always like to say that we're the company I hope nobody notices. And that simply means that whether there are any programs down the road here that we want to implement there's never a question about, hey you couldn't even collect the trash. Our main priority is to ensure that trash collection is something that's done correctly. The billing programs are done correctly. We respond to any phone calls, whether it be complaints, everything has to be done by the book, and I look forward to doing that."

Martin says he worked and traveled in the Asia Pacific before, so he's no stranger to the region.  And despite his short time here, he's already feeling at home, saying, "I really like the atmosphere here. And marie and I are just very impressed, very impressed."

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