FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Guam’s Recycling Rate is 38.2% – up 8.99 percentage points from last year
November 13, 2023 – (TIYAN, Guam) – The Guam Environmental Protection Agency (Guam EPA) reports a recycling rate of 38.2% for Guam on all eligible waste collected during calendar year 2022, representing an increase of 8.99 percentage points from last year’s rate of 29.21%. Eligible waste includes aluminum cans, cardboard, mixed paper, electronic waste, ferrous and nonferrous metals, tires, automotive batteries, plastics, mulched composted material, and food waste. Guam EPA began tracking local recycling activity in 2011 and reported a recycling rate of 17.85% in 2012. In 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) reported the national recycling rate in the United States to be 32%.
The latest data was presented during a virtual proclamation signing ceremony today to commemorate Guam’s participation in “America Recycles Day” and “Guam Recycles Week.” America Recycles Day is celebrated annually on November 15 and is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. To view today’s proclamation ceremony in its entirety, visit facebook.com/govlouguam.
“Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and I are strong proponents of identifying and investing in new technology and facilities to reduce the waste in our landfill and to recover resources for extended use. And while we are pleased with the news of our increased recycling rate, more must be done,” said Acting Governor Joshua F. Tenorio. “We find ourselves in a compelling situation. Given our limited land resources, and to maximize and prioritize land use for the people of Guam, the recycling industry must continue to evolve.”
“The Agency is pleased with the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration’s commitment to supporting public and private stakeholders who promote literacy in sustainability and resource conservation so that we become more mindful of resource consumption and our responsibility to use our resources more productively,” said Guam EPA acting administrator Nic Rupley Lee. “Guam EPA encourages everyone to recycle and recycle properly. By separating your waste, you can place your clean, dry recyclables in their proper bins and help the island by doing your part to reduce what goes in our landfill, reduce greenhouse gasses, sustain our environment, and give trash new life.”
Local recyclers provided recycling data, which was used to calculate additional metrics that represent Guam’s recycling efforts. Based on the U.S EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), estimates of potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions, energy savings, and economic impacts from waste management practices like recycling, Guam’s current recycling rate reduced greenhouse emissions equivalent to over 25,000 gasoline-powered vehicles driven for an entire year, or over 4.9 million bags of waste diverted from the landfill.
In developing recycling rate calculations, Guam EPA works with U.S. EPA Region IX Zero Waste & Green Building Coordinator Timonie Hood, along with the continued guidance and support from Regional Administrator Martha Guzman, Pacific Islands Office Manager CDR Elena Vaouli, and Guam/CNMI Program Manager Carl Goldstein. The COVID-19 pandemic, global market value, demand for certain recyclables, and shifts in materials management policy have adversely impacted the export of certain recyclable commodities. Local recycling information and updates are available at epa.guam.gov/recycling, kab.org/our-signature-programs/america-recycles-day/ or by contacting Guam EPA Recycling Officer Sabrina Cruz-Sablan at 671-300-4751 or email@example.com.