Islanders encouraged to recycle...all year round
Guam - Spring cleaning may be over and done but residents islandwide are encouraged to take advantage of a yearlong recycling program.
"In the past we only had one contractor that cost us millions of dollars and we were going a village at a time. You know how slow that was? One village took three, four months to finish or never finished," said Angel Sablan. Executive director of the Mayor's Council of Guam.
For years, the Council struggled with maintaining a recycling program for island residents.
Today, they've got the program down to a system. According to Sablan, the program is more efficient than ever.
He said, "Now the way we're doing it, we're giving all the mayors at the same time and we're working with the vendors, the two vendors, to coordinate with the villages and do this on a daily basis - just go from village to village and work with them and remove these items."
And that means less illegal dumping here on island...or at least that's the hope.
"There's still illegal dumping going on. You'll find these on the backroads, the hidden roads. You'll find trash. You'll find white goods, refrigerators, stoves, washing machines being thrown all over the place. It's unfortunate because we do have the program and we do tell people if you need to leave it at your property, leave it there because the time will come and pick it up or have it transferred to a site and it'll be picked up from there," he shared.
And much like the concept of recycling, the funds that allow the program to exist is a cycle. After all, whenever you pay a recycling fee in your car registration, these funds are given to the Guam Environmental Protection Agency for the Recycling Revolving Fund. The Mayors Council of Guam then receives $400,000 in these funds for the MCOG Recycling Program which is divvied up between the 19 districts. When the funds deplete, more money is given to mayors for the program. The goods are taken off Guam.
"It's a program that every time the funds are depleted, EPA does work to give us more to start it all over again," he said.
But the program doesn't come without its weaknesses as Sablan reports there's still no way to address other types of recyclable goods, including glass, computer parts, and household furniture.
Residents may also notice that the Mayors Recycling Program no longer includes the pickup of abandoned vehicles.
Sablan says that's because more and more residents are realizing they can do this themselves, and make a few bucks along the way.
"One of the things you notice that we don't fund for anymore is abandoned vehicles and you probably don't see many abandoned vehicles around the island anymore there are companies out there and there are people out there that pick up these vehicles," he said.
For more information on how you can take advantage of the free recycling program that accepts white goods, tires, batteries, and loose metals, call your village mayor.