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12 23Wed10222014

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GEPA planning sustainable materials conference in 2014

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THE Guam Environmental Protection Agency will be convening a sustainable materials management conference for the island and the region, targeting a March 2014 date for the event.

Planning for the conference has already begun with the environmental agency conducting surveys of certification workshops and topics.

The Sustainable Materials Management Conference will be coordinated in partnership with Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). Attendees will also have the opportunity to test and receive SWANA Certification during the conference activities.

Meanwhile, the agency reported that GEPA and the recently concluded 27th Pacific Islands Environment Conference were recently featured on the homepage of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials website.

"This type of national recognition is very timely as GEPA begins the planning process for a region-wide materials management conference in March of 2014. The conference will include officials from the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials, the Solid Waste Association of North America, and other experts from around the region and nation," GEPA Administrator Eric M. Palacios said.

Palacios said Guam is being recognized on a larger level for advancements in solid waste, education and other work in the Pacific.

Zero waste

GEPA’s plan to convene a sustainable materials management conference for the region was also mentioned during a public hearing for Res. 189 earlier this month.

The resolution, introduced by Sen. Tina Muña-Barnes, supports the adoption of “zero waste” as a guiding principle for sustainable materials management. The resolution also supports the creation and adoption of a zero waste plan for Guam in order to preserve the Layon Landfill.

According to the resolution, zero waste is a community-based model that aims to eliminate or minimize landfill disposal by the application of simple solutions and sustainable materials management systems that are healthy for the people and for the island.

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