Authorities on Guam says the territory needs more rubbish tips
The head of the Layon Landfill in Guam says about 16 million US dollars is needed to build a new storage area as its current facility is nearing capacity.
Authorities on Guam says the territory needs more rubbish tips as the main landfill is nearing capacity.
The solid waste management consultants, Gershman, Brickner and Bratton, says results from its latest quarterly report predicts the two existing cells of the two year old Layon landfill will be full by 2020.
Beverley Tse has more:
On average more than a thousand kilograms of garbage is thrown out by each resident on Guam each year. In October, the Guam Solid Waste Authority delivered free recycling carts to its residential customers which are being picked up free of charge. It says by recycling paper, plastics and metal cans, about half of the trash can be diverted from the landfill. The spokesperson for Gershman, Brickner and Bratton, David Manning says although recycling has slightly extended the life of the cells at Layon, it is inevitable a new one will be needed.
DAVID MANNING:Our current projections suggest they will be filled probably in 2019/2020. It's a bit of an estimate at this point because obviously you don't know exactly what's going to happen in the future. And the government of Guam also needs to begin to prepare for that by constructing additional cells so that they continue to have landfill capacity.
David Manning says there is capacity to build up to 11 cells at the Layon Landfill and it will cost at least US$16 million to construct a new one. The Environmental Protection Agency is currently considering a proposal to build a new dump in Guatali in Santa Rita. The mayor of the village, Dale Alvarez, says creating a new rubbish tip can ease the burden on the Layon Landfill but residents of Santa Rita don't want it to be established in Guatali.
DALE ALVAREZ: The landfill is a must. It's just nobody wants you to build it in your backyard. So the local government has a problem of trying to find land for the private contractor to build the landfill.
Dale Alvarez says there other options to reduce waste on Guam such as shipping it overseas or introducing a tipping fee, which many residents cannot afford. He says the public has already rejected the idea of burning rubbish.
DAVE ALVAREZ: It's the same company that wants to build a landfill in Guatali. They were going to build an incinerator that will help the problem of our garbage. But that was turned down because the people were crying. They don't want it because of pollution.
The administrator for the Guam Environmental Protection Agency, Eric Palacios, says there is the thought at the back of many people's minds that Guam could run out of capacity to contain its waste. But he says the government is striving to lengthen the life of the Layon Landfill and encouraging people to recycle.
ERIC PALACIOS: There's a growing trend of more and more people recycling and I guess, you know, trying to best handle the waste stream that they generate.
Eric Palacios says about 28 percent of the population is recycling but he hopes this will reach 70 percent within 10 years.
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