A virtual proclamation signing was held on Monday, declaring November 16 as Guam Celebrates America’s Recycles Day.
The primary markets currently accessible to Guam for recyclables are Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. China is still accepting recyclables from the island but will soon exit.
Because of the limited number of countries the island has access to by direct shipping routes and distances from the different ports, these factors add cost to the market for recyclables and add to the challenges.
GEPA Chairman Robert Perron believes Guam should redirect its focus and start relying on community resources within the island.
“In order to minimize outside factors affecting our success, we should direct our effort towards producing products here on Guam, for use on Guam. This is particularly true in the local use of materials such as plastic, glass, tires, and an increased emphasis on composting food waste. A number of pilot projects are currently going on under the GEPA zero-waste plan that will help us show effective uses of recycled material. I believe if we direct and coordinate our efforts on the common goal of making our island more efficient in the use of its resources and minimizing the discarding and burying of waste, then we’ll be able to leave our children a better island,” Perron said.
Perron also acknowledges the many organizations that put out continuous efforts in helping Guam to be more independently sustainable.