Senator Respicio presses use of recycling funds to get more recyclables off-island

by Senator Rory J. Respicio
Senator Respicio’s office

Senator Rory J. Respicio’s new law to support Guam’s fragile recycling industry and further direct dedicated recycling funds to accomplish the mission of cleaning up the island is moving forward, according to officials of the Guam Environmental Protection Agency.
Since 2004, Guam consumers have paid into the fund when they purchase goods that will have to be recycled in the future, such as automobiles, trucks and tires.
At the same time costs to ship recycled goods off-island and wildly fluctuating world prices for such items have shaken the economic foundation of the Guam recycling industry.
Senator Respicio’s new law is intended to subsidize recycling companies who actually move recyclables off-island after they do so, making it possible to rid Guam of goods whose recycled value won’t pay for the cost of shipping, while ensuring consumer-paid recycling funds go for that purpose. Without Sen. Respicio's stimulus program, recycling companies would otherwise be saddled with growing tons of recyclables and forced to lay off personnel and/or go out of business.
Respicio Thursday chaired a round table discussion to assess GEPA’s implementation of the new law and the reaction of local recyclers.
GEPA Special Projects Coordinator Sabrina Cruz Sablan said the recyclers are anxious to participate in the program. The agency has already received bills of lading from qualified recyclers and is in the process of certifying their claims for the stimulus funding.

Conchita Taitano, Administrator of GEPA’s Air and Land Division, said the new program is just in time for the recyclers: “One of the companies told me he had two locations and he was seriously considering closing one location, because he just couldn’t support it anymore.”
Senator Respicio: “And so the idea behind this stimulus program was that they wouldn’t have to lay people off. To sustain those jobs and encourage them to hire more people so they might get more of these recyclables off island.”
Senator Respicio encouraged GEPA to continue its efforts to make all qualified recyclers aware of the new program and to continue strengthening their operations to rid Guam of unwanted trash.
Senator Tom Ada, who is the Vice Chairperson of Sen. Respicio's environmental committee, was also present at the round table hearing.  
For more information, please contact Senator Respicio’s office at 472-7679.

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