The Day of Reckoning

With China’s ban on foreign garbage and GovGuam’s failure to implement a successful recycling program, it’s up to every resident to keep Guam clean

trash on the beach

Deep in the heart of the Marianas Trench you’ll find a discarded Spam can, plastic bags and a long consumed Fanta from the late 1970s. There is no sacred place for litterbugs. With Guam being the nearest landmass to the Marianas Trench, where else did these pieces of trash come from?

Unfortunately, solid waste management on Guam has been a unresolved challenge and the island’s recycling efforts have forever been stuck in their nascent stage.

Last year, China implemented a ban on foreign garbage, creating a crisis for the recycling industry worldwide, Guam included.

China’s foreign garbage ban is creating anxiety. “There are whole states in a panic, because they've collected so many recyclables but they can't send them to where they've always been sent to anymore,” said Eric Hsueh, general manager of Pyramid Recycling.