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Guam targets youngsters in recycling push

Micronesia – The island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean managed a recycling rate of 29% last year, according to the Guam Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While the rate is down four percentage points from the previous year, the island recycled 1728 tons – almost double the volume for 2014.

The recycling of car and truck lead-acid batteries saw an increase of 77% between 2011 and 2015, while Guam increased its composting quantities from 23 tons to 5400 tons last year.

‘We will keep working to monitor the recycling rate, encourage methods to make recycling easier for residents and help everyone work together to keep our island clean,’ comments Guam EPA administrator Walter Leon Guerrero.

‘First and foremost, I feel that education is the key component to a successful island-wide recycling effort,’ says Peggy Denney, programme administrator of Guam’s i*recycle scheme.

She estimates over half a million pounds of waste goes every day to the Layon landfill, adding ‘there is an abundance of recyclables contained in that waste’. Getting involved with schools is especially important, Denney feels.

The i*recycle scheme, which was launched in 2007, is therefore dedicated to spreading the recycling message to youngsters. Schools on the island have thus far collected over US$ 225 000 worth of recyclables, mainly aluminium cans.

The aim is to expand the initiative to 60 schools.

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