District Court of Guam
GBB & Guam logos Gershman, Brickner, & Bratton, Inc. Guam seal

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did U.S. District Court Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood appoint a Receiver to manage, supervise and oversee the Solid Waste Management Division of Guam’s Department of Public Works?
  2. What is a Receiver?
  3. What is GBB’s role as Receiver?
  4. Who is Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. (GBB)?
  5. What is GBB’s experience in island communities?
  6. How was Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc., (GBB) selected as Receiver?
  7. Who is David Manning, who has been designated GBB’s Receiver representative? What is his experience with this type of project?
  8. In addition to David Manning, who else from GBB is involved in the receivership?
  9. How much is the Receiver paid? 
  10. Did the Receiver establish an office in Guam?
  11. What is the role of the Court?
  12. What is the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency?
  13. What is the role of the Guam Environmental Protection Agency?
  14. What are the Receiver’s goals?
  15. How will improvements be financed?
  16. How will the costs be controlled?
  17. How will local contracts be awarded?
  18. What will be the impact on Department of Public Works staff?
  19. The solid waste issue on Guam has been highly political with lack of agreement between Guam’s executive and legislative branches? How is the Receiver addressing the politics of the situation?
  20. Will residential trash and recycling collection services change? Will there be increases in trash and recycling fees under a new system?
  21. Will the public be involved in developing the Action Plan?
  22. When will the Department of Public Works resume its responsibilities for solid waste management?
  23. What has been done so far?
  24. On July 17, 2008, the Receiver implemented a ban on certain recyclable materials at the Ordot Dump and Guam transfer facilities.  What materials are now banned?
  25. To whom does the ban apply?
  26. I am a residential customer; does the ban apply to the solid waste I set out at the curb for collection?
  27. Why are these materials now banned?
  28. Is the ban causing illegal dumping and burning of trash?
  29. How can residents recycle old corrugated cardboard containers, yard and vegetative waste, and untreated wood, which are all subject to the July 17, 2008 ban?
  30. Where can the following material be properly disposed of: cardboard, glass, paper, old furniture, metal, and construction waste?
  31. Is the July 17, 2008 ban on certain materials succeeding?
  32. What are the penalties for violating the ban?
  33. What is OCC (Old Corrugated Cardboard)?
  34. Where can mixed paper (includes newspaper, office paper, colored paper, phone books, magazines, cereal boxes, and catalogs) be recycled?
  35. Where can I learn more about recycling in Guam, finding recycling tips and guides, and even possibly getting involved in promoting recycling?

1. Why did U.S. District Court Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood appoint a Receiver to manage, supervise and oversee the Solid Waste Management Division of Guam’s Department of Public Works?
Guam’s Ordot Dump, which is unlined on its bottom and uncapped at the top, retains rain water and releases it (this liquid is called leachate) after it has percolated through the dump and absorbs contaminants. This leachate, much of which is discharged into the Lonfit River, presents a serious environmental and health hazard. For more than 22 years, the Government of Guam has been unable to bring its solid waste system into compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and the environmental regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

On February 11, 2004, the government of Guam and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a Consent Decree that ordered the government of Guam to close the Ordot Dump, cease all discharges into the Lonfit River, open a new municipal solid waste landfill facility, and develop and implement recycling and hazardous waste strategies to reduce the volume of materials disposed in the landfill. However, despite some advancement toward gaining compliance with the Consent Decree, the Ordot Dump continues in operation. The Court determined that the appointment of a Receiver was the best remedial measure. Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood cited four reasons why the appointment of a Receiver is necessary:  

  1. The government of Guam’s noncompliance with the mandates of the Clean Water Act and the Consent Decree;
  2. Lack of financial commitment toward funding Consent Decree projects that would bring the government in compliance with the Clean Water Act;
  3. Lack of cooperation between Guam’s legislative and executive branches; and
  4. Lack of tangible progress in opening a new landfill.

On March 17, 2008, the United States District Court of Guam issued a Court Order that placed the Solid Waste Management Division of the Department of Public Works in Guam in Receivership. After receiving and reviewing qualifications information on firms presented by the Government of Guam and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and conducting interviews and reference checks, the Judge selected and appointed Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc., as Receiver.

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2. What is a Receiver?
A receiver is the person or entity appointed by a judge to take charge of the property and/or business of another person or entity, to run the business with the purpose of fulfilling the objective for which the receiver was appointed.   For Guam, the objective is full compliance with the Consent Decree.

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3. What is GBB’s role as Receiver?
As specified in the Court Order, the Receiver has full power and authority to enforce the terms of the Consent Decree, and assumes all of the responsibilities, functions, duties, powers and authority of the Solid Waste Management Division (now Guam Solid Waste Authority) of the Department of Public Works insofar as they affect the Government of Guam’s compliance with the Consent Decree. These duties include supervising Guam employees associated with Consent Decree projects, ensuring performance of existing contracts, and entering into future contracts as necessary. GBB reviewed the work already performed by the government of Guam and is building upon that work where possible, developing and executing a plan that will provide both the financing and leadership necessary to address vital solid waste services for the people of Guam.

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4. What is Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. (GBB)?
GBBGBB is a national solid waste management consulting firm that has helped hundreds of public- and private-sector organizations craft practical, cost-effective and technically sound solutions for complex solid waste management challenges. Since 1980, GBB has worked with communities to develop a wide range of integrated waste management programs that use the latest technologies to improve efficiencies, save money, enhance customer service and protect the environment. GBB is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C., and has associates with offices from coast to coast in the mainland United States, including in New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Tennessee, Oregon, California, Maryland and Virginia. This large geographic footprint enables GBB to be highly efficient and responsive to the communities it serves.

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5. What is GBB’s experience in island communities?
GBB is currently working on assignments for the Cayman Islands government and the County of Maui, Hawaii. Prior to these assignments, GBB has had other assignments in Maui and the U.S. Virgin Islands. GBB has extensive experience with and a clear understanding of the special issues associated with managing solid waste on island communities― including the financial and economic aspects necessary for cost-effective, solid waste management.

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6. How was Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc., (GBB) selected as Receiver?
Chief Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood required both the Government of Guam and the United States Environmental Protection Agency to submit a list of individuals and organizations they felt qualified to serve as Receiver. The Government of Guam submitted a list of qualified Receivers and the United States Environmental Protection Agency submitted a list as well. The Court carefully considered all the firms and individuals submitted. Chief Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood then personally interviewed seven [7] of the nine [9] proposed Receivers and appointed Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. as the best qualified, based on the company’s long track record of success in solving complex solid waste problems.

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7. Who is David Manning, who has been designated GBB’s Receiver representative? What is his experience with this type of project?

David Manning

David Manning

GBB Special Principal Associate David Manning has had more than 30 years of experience in finance and public administration, including executive level positions in state and local government, with the private sector and as an independent consultant. Most recently, he served as the director of finance for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, appointed by Mayor Bill Purcell. His key responsibilities included all areas of financial management together with preparation and oversight for the annual budget with expenditures of $1.9 billion (FY2007). He was also the principal officer responsible for the planning development and oversight of the Mayor’s initiative to create a new solid waste management plan for Nashville. Under the plan, Nashville successfully implemented curbside recycling, revitalized its district energy system, and significantly reduced the City’s overall cost for solid waste management. Prior to his service with Nashville, from 1987 to 1995, Mr. Manning served as the Commissioner of Finance and Administration for the State of Tennessee. There he oversaw the financial and administrative management of executive branch agencies and prepared and implemented an annual budget of $12.5 billion. In 1994, the American Society for Public Administration awarded Mr. Manning the S. Kenneth Howard Career Achievement Award for budget and financial management.

From 1999 until 2002, Mr. Manning served as a Special Deputy Receiver, appointed by the Tennessee Commissioner of Commerce and Insurance, for Xantus Healthplan of Tennessee, an HMO with approximately $250 million in revenue primarily serving Medicaid-eligible Tennesseans. In this capacity, he directed an investigation into the causes of the HMO’s problems and jointly managed the company when it was placed in rehabilitation by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

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8. In addition to David Manning, who else from GBB is involved in the receivership?

GBB President Harvey Gershman serves as officer in change and bears primary responsibility for the project, as he does with other GBB client work. GBB Principal Associate Operations Manager Chace Anderson has a major role in assisting Mr. Manning. Chris Lund, P.E., GBB Vice President and former Chief Engineer at the Guam Environmental Protection Agency is also a key member of the GBB Guam Receivership Project Team. Mr. Manning also receives assistance from other GBB officers, staff and associates as activities may dictate.

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9. How much is the Receiver paid?
The Receiver is paid in accordance with a fee schedule approved by the Court. The fees are based on industry standards for this kind of work. Each month, the Receiver submits its fees and expenses to the Court along with supporting documentation. These documents are reviewed by the Court for reasonableness and ten percent (10%) of all fees are held in trust accruing interest, payable upon successful completion of the project.

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10. Did the Receiver establish an office in Guam?
The Receiver maintains its daily office at the Department of Public Works and has a satellite office at the U.S. District Court of Guam.

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11. What is the role of the Court?
The Court supervises all GBB activities under the Receivership. GBB is required to make quarterly reports to the Court that describe progress made toward compliance with the Consent Decree. GBB is in regular and frequent contact with the Court and will continue to work closely with the Court during the entire process.

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12. What is the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency?
The United States and the Government of Guam entered into the Consent Decree to ensure that the Government of Guam close the Ordot Dump, open a new landfill, and attain timely compliance with various environmental laws and regulations. Prompt compliance with the Consent Decree remains the goal of all parties. To meet this objective, the U.S. EPA continues to provide technical and legal feedback to the Government of Guam, the Receiver, and the Court as needed.

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13. What will be the Role of the Guam Environmental Protection Agency?
Guam Environmental Protection Agency coordinates with the U.S. EPA to ensure that the new landfill and Ordot Dump are in compliance with all Guam regulatory requirements.

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14. What are the Receiver’s goals?
As Receiver, GBB intends to work cooperatively with everyone involved, including the Court, the citizens of Guam, the Government of Guam and its officials, the staff of the Guam Solid Waste Authority, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Guam Environmental Protection Agency to bring Guam into compliance with the Consent Decree and develop a long-term, economically viable and sustainable waste management solution that will benefit the citizens of Guam. In developing this solution, the Receiver will also coordinate with the U.S. military to ensure that the needs of the men and women of the armed forces are also met. The solution will include a new, modern landfill, closure of the Ordot Dump, and an improved trash and recycling system consistent with best practices in the waste industry.

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15. How will improvements be financed?
It is too early in the process to determine financing. In preparing the Action Plan, the Receiver will analyze the available options and present a course of action for financing improvements to Guam’s solid waste management system and closure of the Ordot Dump.

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16. How will the costs be controlled?
We are mindful of public concerns that costs be controlled. The Receiver is committed to arriving at the best, most cost-effective solution that will bring Guam into compliance with the Consent Decree and be in the best interests of the people of Guam. We fully intend to work with all stakeholders to achieve this goal.

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17. How will contracts be awarded?
The Receiver will follow the regulations, rules and other standards that the government of Guam follows in awarding contracts. Our procurement processes will be open and transparent. It is our goal to award contracts that ensure the best performance and value for the citizens of Guam. Under the Court's Order the Receiver is allowed to use alternative procedures to award contracts if necessary to avoid unreasonable delays

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18. What will be the impact on Department of Public Works staff?
The staff members of the Department of Public Works are dedicated and hard working; they are the heart of the organization and the key to achieving future success. We are working closely with the staff and learning from them as together we strive to provide the citizens of Guam with the kinds of services they deserve. The staff have nothing to fear from the Receivership.

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19. The solid waste issue on Guam has been highly political with lack of agreement between Guam’s executive and legislative branches? How is the Receiver addressing the politics of the situation?
Resolving the solid waste issue and bringing Guam into compliance with the Consent Decree and federal regulations is not a political process. The Receiver is not and will not be paralyzed by differences of opinion. Our responsibility is to the Court. Every effort is made to work in a cooperative and respectful manner with the Government of Guam and its institutions and employees to effect a solution that benefits the citizens of Guam in both the long and short term. 

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20. Will residential trash and recycling collection services change? Will there be increases in trash and recycling fees under a new system?
Analyzing current trash and recycling services and fees is part of the comprehensive review the Receiver conducts. At this point, it is too early to say what will change. However, we can say that it is our goal to arrive at a solution that is in the best interests of the residents of Guam from both service and cost standpoints.

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21. Will the public be involved in developing the Action Plan?
We plan to include public comment during the development of the Action Plan. Please check this website often and subscribe to its Email Notification Service, as this website will contain the most current information and describe the public comment process. You can also look for information in media outlets, including The Pacific Daily News, Pacific News Center, Marianas Variety, Marianas Business Journal, Guahan Magazine, and KUAM.

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22. When will the Department of Public Works resume its responsibilities for solid waste management?
The Department of Public Works will resume its responsibilities when compliance with the Consent Decree has been achieved as determined by the Court.

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23. What has been done so far?
Periodic updates on the Receiver’s progress are posted here.

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24. On July 17, 2008, the Receiver implemented a ban on certain recyclable materials at the Ordot Dump and Guam transfer facilities.  What materials are now banned?
OrdotThe following materials are now added to the list of materials banned from disposal at the Ordot Dump, Layon Landfill, and at the transfer facilities operated by the Guam Solid Waste Authority at Agat, Dededo and Malojloj:

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25. To whom does the ban apply?
The July 17, 2008 ban currently applies to any load brought to the Layon Landfill or Guam transfer facilities by commercial haulers, Mayors’ Offices, Government of Guam departments, businesses, the military, and residents.

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26. I am a residential customer; does the ban apply to the solid waste I set out at the curb for collection?
Yes. 

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27. Why are these materials now banned?
The materials subject to the July 17, 2008 ban all can be recycled at locations on Guam. Recycling is a key element in creating a sustainable waste management system on Guam, and continuing to dispose of recyclable material at the landfill would not be responsible.

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28. Is the ban causing illegal dumping and burning of trash?
The Receiver has been concerned about illegal dumping and burning since its representatives first arrived on Guam. Clearly, incidences of dumping and burning pre-date the materials ban of July 17, 2008.  The Receiver has suggested that the Legislature provide Guam EPA with the resources it needs to enforce Guam’s laws against illegal dumping.  Enforcement of laws against illegal dumping is the responsibility of the Government of Guam.  The Receiver continues to monitor burning and illegal dumping; however we do not believe it is reasonable to attribute these illegal activities to the recently announced ban.

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29. How can residents recycle old corrugated cardboard containers, yard and vegetative waste, and untreated wood, which are all subject to the July 17, 2008 ban?
Currently, there are several locations in Guam that recycle these materials.  We appreciate the fact that many residents are eager to recycle.  As a result, the Receiver acquired roll-off containers that are now located at the Dededo Transfer Station and the Agat Transfer Station. These containers have separate compartments for old corrugated cardboard, and glass jars and bottles.

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30. Where can the following material be properly disposed of: cardboard, glass, paper, old furniture, metal, and construction waste?

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31. Is the July 17, 2008 ban on certain materials succeeding?
The ban helped conserve space in the Ordot Dump, as expected. Material that was previously disposed at Ordot is now recycled at several locations on Guam. Commercial haulers have been cooperative and are working closely with the Receiver and their customers to comply with the ban and ensure its effectiveness. Continuing to accept the banned materials at the landfill would not be responsible. 

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32. What are the penalties for violating the ban?
The SWMD has established procedures for enforcing the materials ban policy and for violating the ban.  Click here for information about penalties.

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33. What is OCC (Old Corrugated Cardboard)?
Boxes or other items made from layers of paper glued together, with a ruffled or grooved pattern inside. 

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34. Where can mixed paper (includes newspaper, office paper, colored paper, phone books, magazines, cereal boxes, and catalogs) be recycled?
As of December 20, 2008, and until further notice, mixed paper will not be accepted in the recycling containers at the Dededo and Agat Transfer Stations. GBB’s decision follows the announcement by Guam Transport and Warehouse, the only outlet for mixed paper in Guam, that it will discontinue pick-up of such recyclable material given its inability to find markets due to the global recession. 

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35. Where can I learn more about recycling in Guam, finding recycling tips and guides, and even possibly getting involved in promoting recycling?
Recycling Association of GuamVisit the Recycling Association of Guam’s (RAG) website. RAG is a non-profit, environmental community educational/service organization in Guam with the goal of promoting awareness of alternatives for managing waste. The association emphasizes the principles of Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Compost (RRRC). RAG educates residents through public speaking, its library of magazines, newspaper articles, video tapes, and a composting demonstration.

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