‘It is frustrating’: Students haul car parts, ACs, trash bags out of illegal dump site – The Guam Daily Post
John F. Kennedy High School students filled two trailers and two trucks with car doors, toilet seats, air-conditioning units, refrigerators and everyday household bags of trash on Saturday.
And their work isn’t done.
“There’s still a lot left,” said marine biology teacher Carolyn Haruo. “We’re going back next week.”
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The class is participating in the Ocean Guardian School program, managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. The program encourages students and their families to participate in activities that help protect local watersheds, the world’s oceans, marine preserves and sanctuaries.
Saturday’s cleanup was the fourth effort by the class to pick up trash around the Tamuning area; they’ve walked along Marine Crops Drive to the Chinese Park and down the hill into Tumon as part of their previous efforts. On Saturday, they were supposed to stick to the JFK side of Marine Corps Drive, but Haruo said students saw trash near the road across the street so they expanded their work area.
“My group was just supposed to do the sidewalks, but the more we followed the trash, the more we found,” Haruo said.
The area they walked into is notorious for illegal dumping. And it’s been cleaned by various groups over the years.
The kids ended up hauling four doors for different vehicles, an assortment of car parts, white goods and black trash bags found in kitchens throughout the island.
Haruo said different groups of students have noticed areas they’ve cleaned only get trashed again.
“They expressed frustration about having to clean up after other people,” she said. Haruo shared her own experiences cleaning areas around the island. Last year, after cleaning a roadside in Dededo with her family and friends, they found a couch dumped in the area they had cleaned only hours earlier.
“It is frustrating,” she said, agreeing with her students.
Education and accountability
Haruo said her students will be working on another aspect of their project soon.
“What we’re trying to do is educate people on how to get rid of their trash,” she said.
One of the things discussed, she said, is the cost of trash. She said students have noticed that not all homes have trash bins, which cost about $30 a month with the Guam Solid Waste Authority.
“That’s a topic we’ve been discussing, … how people maybe can’t afford it and so people just dump their trash because of the cost,” Haruo said.
“It may not cost them anything to dump in these areas, but we do pay a cost with our environment.”
Mandatory trash collection planned
Board Chairman Andrew Gayle has said mandatory islandwide trash collection may start as soon as this year “if things go well,” based on optimistic timelines.
“That remains to be seen, but that is our intention,” Gayle told lawmakers during a confirmation hearing for his continued appointment to the GSWA board in January. “That is one of the things that … I think is important for us to pursue. And I will be working with the management team to help make that come to fruition.”</…….