Your Trash can help pay your Power
Due to the positive response from the public, the American Samoa Power Authority is extending its recycling program to allow non-farmers to use recycling vouchers to pay down their electricity bill.
The recycling program, a partnership between ASPA and Department of Agriculture, kicked off during the Farm Fair in late July. When it started residents turned in pre-sorted recyclables for coupons, which they could use to purchase fresh produce from local farmers.
Farmers then submit the coupons to ASPA and the value of the coupons is how much ASPA will deduct from the farmer's utility bill. But due to the success of the program, ASPA Solid Waste Manager Petero Lafaele said they've now extended it to also allow non-farmers to use the vouchers to pay down their utility bills. The public has a choice of either using the coupons to buy fresh produce or use it towards their utility costs.
Lafaele said the program has resulted in a very high number of scrap metal and recyclables being turned into ASPA instead of piling them along the road. As of last Friday, residents have delivered 1,364 cubic yards of scrap metal, 56,700 aluminum cans, 39,100 plastic bottles and 5,000 glass bottles. Lafaele said ASPA has also lifted the commercial tipping fees for scrap metal since August 7.
This means businesses, such as small auto shops and stores, can bring in to ASPA clean scrap metal free of charge. The solid waste division manager said residents are getting used to sorting out aluminum cans and glasses from their trash so that they don't end up at the Futiga landfill. He hopes this trend continues so that the trash disposed at the landfill is reduced. He said they're also seeing a lot of residents now cleaning and collecting trash on the roadside and even taking the bus to take their recyclables to ASPA.