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USEPA completes post-typhoon waste clearing at Guam schools

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

All 41 public schools on Guam have been cleared of hazardous debris and electronic waste left by Typhoon Mawar, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said today, announcing the completion of the waste pick-up and disposal.

“Working with the Guam Department of Education and school administrators has been vital to our efforts,” said Chris Myers, USEPA incident commander.

“We are truly appreciative of the local and federal partnership to clear hazardous waste and e-waste from schools so they can prepare for reopening.”

After the typhoon, which hit Guam on May 24, EPA and its contractors visited every public school and other education-related facilities to help assess the amounts and different types of typhoon-impacted hazardous waste and e-waste needing proper disposal.

USEPA said coordinating with the education department and individual school administrators was essential to performing the work under a Federal Emergency Management Agency mission assignment for hazardous waste removal.

Waste collected from the schools has been transported to debris collection sites for sorting and transfer to USEPA’s staging area in Barrigada.

At the staging area, hazardous waste and e-waste are sorted and combined with materials from the collection sites at Ypao/Oka Point in Hagatna, fairgrounds in Barrigada and Dededo, then safely loaded into shipping containers for eventual transport to the mainland.

Common hazardous waste materials picked up at schools included paint, cleaning chemicals, and chemistry lab supplies. Common forms of e-waste included computers, monitors, light bulbs, and solar panels.

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