DPW’s solid waste division incurs $3M deficit

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THE Department of Public Works’ Solid Waste Management Division has incurred a $3,064,704 deficit in the current fiscal year, and House Floor Leader John Paul Sablan wants to know why.

 DPW Secretary James Ada blames Public Law 18-64 which took away 3% of DPW’s share of the tobacco excise tax collections. 

Ada and other DPW officials appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday to discuss the department’s budget.

Ten percent of the tobacco excise tax was originally allotted to the Solid Waste Management Revolving Fund as required by Public Law 13-42. But then-Rep. Ralph Demapan’s P.L. 18-64 took out 3% and place it in a Cancer Fund Special Account which is separate from the general fund.

The solid waste division collects fees from people who bring  their trash to the Marpi landfill and the Lower Base Transfer Station.

DPW said  the average monthly collection is $101,536.

In 2018, the solid waste division collected $2.1 million; in 2019, $3.6 million; and in the current year, $1.8 million.

Ada told the committee that P.L. 18-64 affected the budget of the solid waste division.

DPW Administrative Services Director Peter Camacho asked  lawmakers to repeal P.L. 18-64 so that the solid waste revolving fund will again receive 10% of the tobacco excise tax collections.

Since 2018, Ada has been asking the Legislature to repeal Public Law 18-64, citing the solid waste division’s “serious and severe financial shortfall.”

The House floor leader said he recognizes the “big impact” of P.L. 18-64 on the solid waste division and told the DPW officials: “Let’s work together to resolve the issue and improve the Marpi landfill operation.”



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