Guam- The Guam Solid Waste Authority (GSWA) delivered its first load of recyclables to Guahan Waste Recycling this morning (Monday). The recyclables were collected from the newly launched Islandwide Curbside Recycling Program that started a week and a half ago.
The program has been a long time coming for the island community. After the one year pilot version was successfully completed, Federal Receiver Gershman, Brickner and Bratton (GBB) announced that GSWA would start delivering recycling carts to residential customers on October 25.
GBB Vice President and Receiver Operations Manager Chace Anderson told PNC today marks the first day of collections from the recycling carts. He said they have collected close to 3 tons of recyclables from their collection routes.
“We are dropping the carts everyday, working Monday through Sunday, delivering the carts,” said Anderson. “We have delivered approximately four thousand carts to our customers and we will continue and be done by the middle of December, if not earlier.”
Anderson mentioned GSWA has 16,500 customers, but only 15,500 will receive the carts. He noted the remaining 1,000 customers will not receive carts because the areas where they live are hard to access for the large trash trucks that collect the recyclable materials.
“Now that doesn’t mean that in the future we won’t review that and see if there is a way of providing them,” said Anderson. “But at this time, we wanted to start with 90% of our customers if not more.”
Anderson also advised their customers what they can put into the carts.
“Cardboard, serial boxes, magazines, newspapers, office paper, all paper, can go into that recycling cart,” stated Anderson. “You can also recycle your plastics 1 and 2 beverage containers. That’s any kind of soda or water container can go right into the recycling cart, as well as your aluminum and metal cans can go in there.”
He said recycling can reduce residential waste down to one trash cart and save customers $15 a month. He emphasized recycling is free and customers can sign up for an automatic email remainder that is sent 24 hours before their actual collection day. All they have to do is sign up at the GSWA website.
Equipment Operator Leader I Nelson Beltran added feedback has been positive and customers appreciate their new service. He gave these tips on what to throw and what not to throw into the recycle carts.
“Anywhere that recycles, you don’t have to bag it,” said Beltran. “You can put it singly in the cart. No contamination, like foods and wet cardboard to contaminate the rest of the recyclables.”
Guahan Waste Control President Bob Perron said the recyclables are processed four days a week and sorted as quickly as possible. They put together a team of 8 to 10 people on the recycling side to sort and bale the collections.
So we’re anticipating two to three loads a day, truckloads, to come in,” said Perron. “We’ll process it as fast as we can to get it off the floor and get it separated and sent to where it needs to go.”
Perron mentions after it’s weighed, the cardboard and paper are processed at their facility for shipment off-island. Guahan Waste also partnered with Pyramid Recycling for plastics and aluminum to be baled and shipped to various markets. He asked island residents to keep their carts clean and looks forward to help streamline the recycling process on Guam.
“Try to do the best you can and you’ll get better as time goes on,” remarked Perron. “And we’ll all get better as it’s a new thing and we’re all excited about it. And we’re learning as we go and we’ll take it from there.”
GWSA collects the recycling carts on either the 1st and 3rd or 2nd and 4th weeks of the month, which is the same time frame that trash collections occur.