Mandating trash collection service is cited in the management audit of the Guam Solid Waste Authority as a potential solution to the agency's beleaguered finances.

The agency loses money on each residence served, and would still be losing money with mandated collections, but would not be losing as much per household simply due to economies of scale, GSWA General Manager Larry Gast said during an Islandwide Beautification Task Force meeting Nov. 24.

The management audit recommends increasing GSWA rates to meet significant financial obligations, and that may still have to happen to some degree even with mandatory trash collection in place. Mandating trash collection could also help address the island's illegal dumping problem.

The agency, however, does not have the authority to make service mandatory, and legislation is required, Gast said.

Tenorio, who chairs the beautification task force, said the last few meetings included discussions about recommending legislation for review.

The first stage is to come up with a reasonable deadline to institute mandatory trash collection, Tenorio said at the Nov. 24 meeting.

"But clearly lots of details need to be worked out that deal with the viability and sustainability of the solid waste authority. Also integrated into that are the initiatives that we'd like to pursue, embracing zero waste and the circular economy," Tenorio said.

"And the reality is that no matter what we do, either path seems to need an infusion of capital, somehow. And if it's not additional rates, is it going to be additional subsidies from the general fund? Those are things that we have to work on and iron out," he added.

GSWA requested the governor's assistance with obtaining grant funding in order to mitigate the cost of trash collection.

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