Guam – The Guam Environmental Protection Agency has instructed businesses that have more than 50 used tires on their property to bring those old, used tires, to a Guam EPA approved “Solid Waste Management Facility” [SWMF] within 90 days.
The November 19th “Public Service Announcement” went to tire dealers and repair shops, not to the media.The 90 day deadline would expire on February 17th.
It advises “the general public” that both Global Recycling and Pyramid Recycling are approved waste management facilities and that they are accepting used tires.
And it states that “All tire repair facilities and or businesses that accumulate or store waste tires in excess of fifty (50) pieces has ninty (90) days to dispose of the excess waste tires … to avoid the issuance of possible penalties”. [See the “Public Service Announcement” below]
Guam EPA Administrator Eric Palacios told PNC News that the release “was just another avenue for businesses that are in the tire business .. . to properly manage that particular waste stream. And it was nothing more than that.”
The disposal of old, used tires has been a long standing problem on Guam. Piles of them can be seen stacked outside and behind various tire dealers around the island. hey have becomes nests for mosquitoes and other pests. They’ve been known to catch fire.
Its become increasing tough to get ride of them because fewer and fewer buyers will accept bundled tires.
They’re easier to dispose of if they’re shredded. And that’s what Mr. Rubbishman is planing to do. They’re bringing in a tire shredder, which will cut up the used tires into bite sized bits that can be used for fuel.
Bob Perron is President of Guahan Waste Control and manages Mr. Rubbishman.
“We found that if we got them [tires] to a 2 inch minus size, that it could be used as a tire derived fuel and that there is a consistent market for tire derived fuel,” said Perron. “So we have checked with some different brokers and tried to figure out markets for it and the markets are very consistent and we would be able to get them off island on a very regular basis .. Its a solution” to the problem he said.
Tom Hertzlet has spent 30 years in the tire business on Guam. The retired former owner of Triple J Commercial Tire is questioning the timing of the directive from GEPA.
Besides being President of Guahan Waste Control, Perron is the Chairman of the Guam EPA Board. Hertzlet the GEPA directive presents the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“I feel there is definitely a certain doubt in my mind,” about it, said Hertzlet. “I don’t like the idea that one company is running all the waste business,” he said.
However Perron says he had “nothing to do with putting the letter together” and “had no idea it was coming out.”
And Guam EPA Administrator Eric Palacios said for anyone “to try and assert that he [Perron] was in any way trying to direct any type of action in a particular direction, its not true.”
Perron also points out that the GEPA’s 90-day directive “informs the public to deliver their tires to Global Recycling and Pryamid Recying” saying “I’m not sure how that benifits me personally or the companies that I’m a part of . So, I guess that’s kind of a stretch.”
“We need to sit back and see what happens,” said Hertzlet. “If again a fire might happen at Global or something else? Is the issue of ‘We suggest you go there’. I don’t know … It raises questions,” he said.
Hertzlet himself had proposed an alternative plan to deal with the problem of waste tires which would have brought together the 4 major tire importers on island together … Commercial Tire Depot …Triple J Commercial Tire Center … MGT … and United Tire.
The idea was for them to form a joint venture for the purchase of a shredder. He feels that such an arraignment would have been be a more fair and effective way to deal with the problem. But he he failed to get sufficient backing for his proposal.
Hertzlet says he also approached Senator Tom Ada about drafting a legislative solution to resolve the waste tire issue.
Senator Ada did draft such a bill, but he told PNC News that he withdrew it after receiving a phone call from BankPacific President Phil Flores who is also one of the owners of Guahan Waste.
Senator Ada says Flores urged him to withdraw the legislation because he was working on devising a private sector solution by bringing in a shredder.
Senator Ada agreed to withdraw his bill telling PNC that when the private sector has a viable solution, there is no need for GovGuam to step in.