From trash to cash
Updated: Jan 13, 2022
Turn waste into marketable products at G3 Makerspace
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Entrepreneurs and creators throughout the island can soon put their innovative abilities to work and transform waste into marketable products at one convenient location.
The Guam Green Growth (G3) Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub was originally set to open its doors to the public at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 13, in three houses at CHamoru Village in Hagåtña. However, this event has been postponed due to Covid spike.
“Our team looks forward to all the creative products that will be developed by our talented community,” said Austin Shelton, director of the Center for Island Sustainability at the University of Guam, which developed the center and facilitates the island-wide G3 initiative in coordination with the Office of the Governor. “The hub will reduce our island’s waste and diversify our economy through the stimulation of new green industries.”
Tools for community use
The facility provides tools and machines to upcycle materials into new products and prototypes with the added benefit of reducing the amount of waste going to the local landfill and providing alternatives to imported goods.
The makerspace area features machines capable of processing wood, metal, and various other materials. Creators can access a laser cutter, computer numerical control router, 3D printer, vinyl cutter, and power tools, among other equipment. An area is devoted to the world-renowned Precious Plastic brand machines, which can shred, extrude, inject, press and melt plastic.
Patrons can avail of the space and tools available for $50 per month or $500 per year with a 20 percent discount applicable to yearly memberships.
Opportunities for learning and collaboration
An innovation space in the center allows patrons to collaborate with others, attend workshops and training sessions, and engage in business mentorship.
The center’s managing and support staff are seasoned in business and product development and are willing to share their skills and knowledge with those utilizing the spaces.
Those eager to learn about the tools and circular economy process can attend creative workshops and hear from members of the UOG School of Business and Public Administration, Guam Unique Merchandise and Arts, the Small Business Development Center, and the Guam Economic Development Authority.
Merchandise for environmentally conscious consumers
The general public can support the island’s emerging economy as well, by stopping in to browse the facility's green store, which features merchandise created in the makerspace being sold on consignment.
Supporting cottage industries
The facility supports part of the G3 initiative’s mission to establish sustainable and profitable cottage industries and support regional economic development.
Myracle Mugol, G3 circular economy coordinator through the UOG Center for Island Sustainability, sees the operation as a place to grow with like-minded people and convenient resources — often the missing factors for ideas to come to fruition, she said.
“It’s the three Cs of G3: 1) curation of equipment, tools, and workshops to make our ideas happen; 2) collaboration with development and resource partners, who assist with innovation and expansion into businesses and cooperatives; and 3) community — the people surrounding these spaces who allow for ideas to grow, develop, and move,” she said. “The community is the support and backbone for sustainability — the very change-makers who push the culture needed for the initiatives to move forward.”
The development of the center was supported by the Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium for Corals and Oceans project at the University of Guam, better known as EPSCoR GECCO, which is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research grant. Additional funding is from GEDA and the Office of the Governor. (UOG)