The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation’s Environmental Health Disease Prevention, in collaboration with the Office of the Mayor of Saipan, will start inspecting villages to address improper trash, or garbage disposal, that contributes to litter in the community.
According to CHCC, they will team up with the Saipan Mayor’s Office’s routine village beautification program as a means to resolve improper trash or garbage disposal that contributes to litter and harbor rats and vermin in the community.
“MOS staff frequently observe trash scattered on the streets or sidewalks during their routine village cleanup. This not only affects our environment, but more importantly impacts the mental and physical wellbeing of residents,” said CHCC in a statement about this new venture.
Citing Public Law 14-15, CHCC said it is a public inconvenience and a health hazard for garbage or trash to be disposed in a public or private trash container without a tight-fitted lid or cover. CHCC urges the community to properly cover and secure their garbage or trash and that surrounding areas should be clean and free of debris.
CHCC said they will support, and help, the Saipan Mayor’s Office’s efforts in keeping the island clean by conducting premise inspections in line with the MOS field schedule, starting in Kagman.
EHDP inspectors will inspect houses and businesses to assess compliance with trash confinement and disposal requirements, as well as identification and removal of potential breeding sites for rats and other infestations, which could be sources of infectious pathogens. The public is advised to tie up or confine dogs for the safety of the inspectors and staff of the mayor’s office.
If a person fails to comply with the requirements, CHCC says it will result in a Notice of Violation and civil fine of $100 for each violation, plus an additional $50 for each day for failure to comply with the law.
According to Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, his staff has been out on the field since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re here Monday to Friday, we work outside, taking care of the community, the villages. …We continue to do our community functions, taking care of the debris in the village in order to prevent disease, we pick up junk car, and we do that on a daily basis,” said Apatang.
Apatang said even with their daily operations, cleanliness in the community is prioritized.
For households, CHCC said trash can be disposed of at the Lower Base Transfer Station, which is open from 8am to 1:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, then 8am to 1pm on Saturday. On Wednesday and Sunday, it is closed.