Zero Waste Overview

What is Zero Waste?

Zero Waste is a goal – like the manufacturing goal of Zero Defects and the safety goal of Zero Accidents. The aim of Zero Waste is to reduce waste generated and materials discarded by effectively managing resources before they become waste. Many communities across the world have established a Zero Waste path that starts out modestly and builds as resources, awareness and commitment grow. Guam can do the same. It's time to move solid waste management practices on Guam in a different direction. As Governor Calvo and Lieutenant Governor Tenorio noted in Blueprint 2020 "...if we limit ourselves to what we've always known, then we tie the next generation to the problems we've been facing for years." Fortunately, Zero Waste isn't something that we need to invent from scratch. One of the longest-running, most successful Zero Waste models of all is Nature, in which the by-product of one system is feedstock for another system and nothing is wasted.

What is a Zero Waste Plan?

A Zero Waste Plan is a strategic roadmap or "master plan" adopted by forward-thinking governments which is designed to assist communities maximize their waste diversion efforts (i.e., reducing, reusing, recycling and composting) and shrink their reliance on disposal facilities such as landfills. There is no one right way to implement a zero waste plan and many paths can be taken. No single initiative or strategy can be put in place to make a Zero Waste Plan successful; instead, layered strategies are needed to ensure the success of a Zero Waste Plan.

How was the Zero Waste Plan developed?

The Office of the Governor has contracted with Matrix Design Group, Inc. (Matrix) to complete a Zero Waste Plan for Guam. The Zero Waste Plan will be completed in a series of phases, with each phase building upon earlier efforts. The phases of work completed during the development of the Zero Waste Plan included:

  • Phase 1. Baseline Measurement Data Consolidation and Development of 20-Year Projections
  • Phase 2. Issues Identification and Visioning
  • Phase 3. Alternatives Analysis Development
  • Phase 4. Zero Waste Plan Preparation