Solid waste receivership about to end, administration focuses on next plans

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Guam – After eleven-years under a federal receivership, the Government of Guam will finally oversee the day-to-day operations of Guam’s solid waste management services effective April 30. During a press conference Wednesday, the administration’s fiscal team talked about plans to finance remaining requirements. 

Chief Judge Francis Tydingco-Gatewood’s ruling to return control of the Ordot landfill and Layon solid waste cells back to the government of Guam removes a stain our island that resulted from our solid waste disposal agency’s inability to fulfill its commitment to a consent decree agreement with the federal government to close the Ordot landfill and open a new site.

Representatives from different government agencies attended a press conference Wednesday, where Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero spoke about the collective effort and teamwork that led to the transfer of management authority of the island’s solid waste operations.

Leon Guerrero also acknowledged the fiscal team for developing a financial plan to fund Layon cell no. three, as well as the post-closure costs for the former solid waste site

“Their demonstration of their knowledge and expertise, really, I think was very influential in the judge feeling really comfortable and good about ending the receivership.” Leon Guerrero said.

Guam Economic Development Administrator Melanie Mendiola talked about a 12-year bond strategy the authority has put together for up to $30 million dollars. She said the proposal is expected to draw a very low interest rate due to its tax exempt status.

“The term of the bond would be for the life of the cell. The construction of the cell would be approximately two years and the life of the cell would be about ten,” Mendiola said.

The governor also talked about sustainability and strategies to reduce overall waste byproducts through aggressive recycling programs. She added that recently there was a sustainability conference at the University of Guam that focused on multiple forms of recycling, particularly on the reuse of waste products.