Hagåtna, Guam – Approximately 28,000 pounds of the island’s Layon-bound waste was sorted and studied for a recent Waste Composition Study (WCS), the first in over 35 years. Findings were presented at the Bureau of Statistics and Plans 5th Assembly of Planners Symposium on Thursday. The data from the study will be used to develop solutions for islandwide diversion efforts, including initiatives such as Biosolids Compositing, Food Security, and Greening Roadways Infrastructure.

The goal of the Symposium was to collate and curate the knowledge and experience of community participants across a range of stakeholder groups with varying interests and technical skill sets. These participants will help provide feedback, which will then be used to formulate plans that will drive real-world solutions for zero waste implementation so that none of Guam’s wastes end up in the Layon landfill, and our rivers, shores, and ocean,” said First Gentleman Jeff Cook, Chairman of the Zero Waste Working Group.

Upcycling Biosolids
Dewatered solids (biosolids) from Guam’s wastewater treatment plants are currently being disposed of at Layon Landfill and account for approximately 10% of the weight of the current waste stream. Partnering with the Port Authority of Guam, the Department of Agriculture, AmeriCorps, Landscape Management Systems (LMS), and the American Presidents Line (APL), Guam’s biosolids can be composted with locally available wood chips from non-treated pallets to create a Class A biosolids product that meets federal requirements. The resulting compost has many uses, such as landscaping, erosion control, and restoring soil nutrients to badlands.

Food Security
Partnering with Hyatt Regency Guam, Salvation Army Guam, and the Department of Public Health and Social Services, there is an opportunity to address hunger by creating a food bank that recovers safely consumable food products that will be made available to our vulnerable families. This project would provide high-quality food from our island’s hotels and restaurants to nonprofit organizations to help those in need.

Greening Roadways
Approximately 4,100 tons (or 8.2 million pounds) of glass bottles are disposed of at the Layon Landfill annually. Rather than disposal, the glass may be used in local roadway and utility construction projects. Partnering with the GCA Trades Academy, Zero Waste Guam will be incorporating recycled crushed glass, rather than coral aggregate, into the compacted base course at the GCA Trades Academy’s new training facility parking lot. In a separate project, Zero Waste Guam is working with the Department of Public Works and Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares to undertake a demonstration project which utilizes recycled materials in tertiary roads.

For more information, contact Ms. Conchita S.N. Taitano, Executive Director for the Zero Waste Guam Working Group, at 671-300-4760 or email conchita.taitano@epa.guam.gov. For technical reports, presentations and guidance documents, visit zerowasteguam.eco.

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