Apatang: Exempt us from DPW fees

David M. Apatang

The Saipan Mayor’s Office has requested the help of the Legislature after being notified by a government agency that it will be charged tipping fees for waste disposal.

The Saipan Mayor’s Office asked the Legislature to intervene after the Department of Public Works informed the Saipan Mayor’s Office that, starting Oct. 1, 2018, they would start charging and collecting tipping fees from government agencies that dispose of solid waste at the government-operated solid waste disposal facility.

The Saipan Mayor’s Office pointed out that in their fiscal year 2019 budget request, the office omitted the ask for the additional expense.

“The debris that we haul for disposal at the centers are primarily solid waste generated from unlawful dumping and litter along public roadways and public places,” Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang wrote to House Speaker Rafael Demapan (R-Saipan), Senate President Arnold Palacios (R-Saipan), and Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation chair Rep. John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan).

The letter suggests that the Legislature may do one of two things: appropriate enough funds to cover the estimated annual tipping fees of the Saipan Mayor’s Office or introduce and pass legislation that excludes the office from DPW’s new charge.

“…Our island beautification project includes clearing of vegetation along road shoulders and public places, debris removal, scrap metal and junk car removal, disposal of white goods, among other things, which generates tons of solid waste in any given year,” said Apatang. “The only proper place to dispose of all solid waste we generate from our islandwide beautification projects are either the Lower Base Transfer Station or [the] Marpi Landfill,” he added.

Apatang noted that the creation of staging areas where they collect the garbage is only temporary and must be cleared of any stockpile of debris within a given period of time to avoid creating an open, unauthorized dump.

He noted that his office is projected to pick up 214 junk cars and other scrap metal debris, perform 26 land clearings, e.g., funeral parking, clearance of rights-of-way, etc., 76 tree pruning, and 789 debris removal and disposal.

“The amount of solid waste we expect our projected activities in the next fiscal year will generate will be very substantial, which we estimate will exceed five tons,” he wrote. “Because the amount of solid waste will vary from fiscal year to the next, we would appreciate your time and help with our request.”

As of publication, the Legislature has yet to respond to Apatang’s letter.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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