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Guam legislature passes islandwide trash collection measure

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Guam senators today passed a bill establishing a customer assistance program that would subsidize the low-income residents' trash collection expenses.

The Guam Solid Waste Authority earlier testified that it would apply the program to residents participating in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.

"During the session, amendments were made to alleviate concerns of cost, such as the inclusion of self-hauling and repealing the garnishing of tax refunds," said Sen. Sabina Perez, author of Bill 165-37.

Bill 165-37, she explained, seeks to ensure waste disposal on Guam is done properly and fairly.

The bill, she explained, would authorize islandwide collection for residential customers living in a building with four units or less.

"Islandwide collection provides a solution to Guam’s problem of illegal dumping that mars the beauty of our island and poses hazards to the health of our people and environment," Perez said.

The bill would allow exemptions to those contracting with permitted private haulers, self-haulers to the transfer station, and those who do not generate waste.

"I am committed to developing legislation to further support and subsidize families in need," Perez said.

If signed into law, implementation of the islandwide collection would be delayed one year following the adoption of rules and regulations, which would take place six months after enactment.

"The drafting of the regulations will provide opportunities for public input to ensure it works for our community," Perez said.

"Islandwide collection is an important step forward in reclaiming our utility, and demonstrating that we as a community can sustainably run a sanitary landfill, clean up the Ordot dump, and provide a safety net for those in need,” she added.


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