A PILOT program on single stream recycling may soon be introduced on the island to enhance current practices for processing post-consumer materials and recyclables collected from Guam Solid Waste Authority’s curbside recycling programs and from residential transfer stations.
According to Bob Perron, president of Guahan Waste Control Inc., unlike current methods, single stream recycling entails having a facility where all target items for recycling come together – including paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum.
Through the new method, the materials will be sorted out together in the material recovery facility into individual commodities that will be sold in the open market.
At present, Guam uses the so-called “sort-separated” method, where all of the materials – including cardboard and other recyclables – are separated at the source, Perron explained.
Just recently, GSWA put out a request for expression of interest, or RFEI, for the project. Guahan Waste Control Inc., Perron said, submitted their RFEI for consideration.
Perron said the proposed facility should be able to process 1,500 to about 3,500 tons of post-consumer material yearly. The figures, he explained, reflect an estimate based on data collected by GSWA.
Perron, who recently attended an off-island waste convention, said he wants to bring single-stream recycling to the island and to initiate the country's first large-scale, single-stream operation.
Although the new method requires investing in new equipment, according to Perron, it will bring increased efficiency in the material sorting process.
“We’ve already bought the equipment and are assembling it," Perron said. "We’ll then go to the Guam Environmental Protection Agency to make sure we are allowed to do this under our existing permit, maybe with modifications, and then bid on the project. And if we win, we will go forward."
Guahan Waste Control, he added, will also look at the possibility of extending the service to their commercial customers in the future.