Sunday, November 16, 2008

Consultants Report 30% Decrease in Dump Waste

Consultants report 30% decrease in dump waste
By William B. Martin Jr.
Pacific Daily News
November 17, 2008

There's been a 30 percent drop in waste going to the Ordot dump as a result of the July materials ban on cardboard, green waste and construction debris, according to a progress report filed in federal court by the court-appointed federal receiver.

Solid waste managers Gershman, Brickner & Bratton also submitted invoices totalling $222,677.20 to be paid by the government of Guam for services provided in September.

The solid waste management consulting firm was given full authority by the court District Court of Guam to to close Ordot dump and build a new landfill in Dandan, Inarajan, as required by a 2003 consent decree between federal and local officials. Both projects were supposed to be completed last year, but it was expected to take GovGuam several more years to build the new landfill so the dump can be closed.

The materials ban has been one of the measures they implemented and enforced on all commercial and self-haulers going directly to the dump and the Agat and Dededo transfer stations.

Progress report
The latest progress report also states that emergency procurement orders authorized by Gov. Felix Camacho have been used on vehicle purchases, repairs and maintenance. Though invoices do not make clear exact dollar amounts set aside on emergency procurement, a July status report to the court estimates emergency procurement on "urgent" purchases to be around $1.66 million.

Through such measures, the receiver has reduced the Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division's dependence on equipment rentals from $11,000 daily to about $1,400 per day, the report states.

"(These vehicles) together with repairs to the older equipment allowed trash collection crews to complete their routes during one shift for the first time in several years," David Manning, GBB special principle associate, stated in the report.

The consultants also touted the implementation of new containers accepting glass, mixed paper and cardboard for recycling, located at the Agat and Dededo transfer stations and the Ordot dump.

To date, GovGuam has paid $1,145,961.79 to Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, according to the latest invoice submitted on Oct. 31. Labor costs for the month of September total more than $173,000.

The firm's expense report consists mostly of per diem, lodging and transportation costs incurred among employees traveling to Guam in order to maintain the firm's constant presence on island.

Among the billable items purchased include a $134 vacuum cleaner and a $21 barbecue grill, according to receipts submitted to the court.

In an e-mail, Manning said the purchases, which are tracked and audited monthly by the court, were cost saving measures intended to bring down restaurant costs and cleaning services for employees' temporary residences.

"This arrangement has been very cost-effective for Guam," he said.

Manning provided correspondence with the court in which detailed reports for the months of July through August indicate that the firm billed GovGuam $14,852.72, which he said is a little more than half the posted U.S. government rates for traveling contractors.

The funds shall be paid from a $2.8 million interest-bearing savings account that GovGuam is required to open in January, according to the order.

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