Senator Perez introduces bills addressing illegal dumping

Illegal dumping has long been an issue for the island community. (PNC file photo)

On Tuesday, Senator Sabina Flores Perez introduced two bills that address the longstanding issue of illegal dumping. Bills 115-36 and 116-36 respectively mandate landlords provide and maintain trash receptacles, and enhance government agencies’ ability to respond to illegal dumping around the island.

“With the mounting problem of illegal dumping, these bills are part of a multi-pronged approach to curb the amount of garbage littering our island,” Senator Perez stated.

Bill 115-36 updates the Guam Landlord and Tenant Rental Act of 2018 to mandate that landlords provide and maintain trash receptacles, as well as arrange for the removal of garbage for their tenants.

“Bill 115-36 closes an existing loophole where landlords of less than five units on a single property are not mandated to provide garbage removal service for their tenants,” Senator Perez stated.

Bill 115-36 aims to build a mindset of responsibility for both landlords and tenants and to ensure access to trash disposal and removal. “Those of us with garbage removal service take it for granted when there are those with no service at all. We must shift the mindset around trash disposal. One of the ways to shift that mindset is by mandating garbage collection and removal for all,” said Senator Perez.

Concurrently, Bill 116-36 seeks to increase funding for the Guam Environmental Protection Agency, and other government agencies addressing illegal dumping, by increasing the penalty for litter violations while also giving GEPA the flexibility to direct funds to agencies that take an active role in stopping illegal dumping.

“Illegal dumping is a complex issue that requires a number of different solutions. But the one thing that is constant, is the responsibility we have as people of this land to be protectors of our natural environment,” Senator Perez said. “Both bills illustrate how enforcement of our litter laws and ensuring accessibility to renters are vital to restoring responsible relationships with our island through inafa’maolek.”

Senator Perez thanked her co-sponsors for Bill 115-36: Speaker Therese M. Terlaje, Sen. Joanne Brown, Sen. Christopher M. Dueñas, Sen. Telena Cruz Nelson, Sen. Clynton E. Ridgell, and Sen. Telo T. Taitague.

Senator Perez also thanked her co-sponsors for Bill 116-36: Vice-Speaker Tina Rose Muña Barnes, Sen. Joanne Brown, Sen. Jose “Pedo” Terlaje, Sen. James C. Moylan, Sen. Telo T. Taitague, and Sen. V. Anthony Ada.

(Senator Sabina Perez Release)