Gov. Kenneth Mapp announced Friday that he has sent the Legislature a bill that, if enacted, would eliminate 80 percent of the trash currently going into the territory’s landfills by making recycling mandatory.
Mapp made the announcement at his regular Government House news conference updating the territory on hurricane recovery efforts.
The bill would establish “source separation and redemption centers,” Mapp said, following the model adopted by many states and municipalities. All businesses, residents and the government would have to separate food items, plastic and paper. Waste management would pick these up in different colored bags. Food compost would go to the farmers and only vegetation would be left for the landfills.
The bill would require everyone in the territory to separate their waste. Mapp said the Waste Management Authority would create an infrastructure for the recycling and provide education to the public on how to handle their waste.
The law would go in to effect July 2018.
“We need to go into this direction, “ Mapp said, noting that the territory produces 300 tons of solid waste per day during non-disaster times.