Bitter About Litter


I’m not sure what you’ve heard about Guam, but if you are planning to move here or visit, DON’T LISTEN TO ANYTHING! Before I moved to Guam, I tried not to ask anyone their opinion. Of course when you tell someone your plans, they immediately want to tell you what they think. And it’s usually things they heard, rather than things they experienced first hand. In my case, I was lucky to avoid a lot of that. So far I’ve posted mostly good things about Guam, because I think the good outweighs the bad here.

Living in Guam reminds me a lot of the small town in Oregon that I grew up in. Everyone knows each other and you can’t go anywhere without seeing someone you know. With that, everyone also knows your business and at times it can feel a little suffocating since the island is so small. You can’t just go for a drive to get away, unless you like driving in circles. The beauty in Guam is fascinating to me, which is why I’m shocked when I see how much litter is dumped just about anywhere. Although in Oregon I recycled the minimum (cans, aluminum and cardboard), there is little to no recycling here. Those plastic bins where you sort out your recyclables aren’t here, there aren’t stations at the grocery stores to turn in your bottles and garbage service is expensive. On top of that, people dispose of their cars refrigerators, stoves, you name it, in the jungle. Some of the most beautiful places I’ve visited here are filled with trash and it’s very sad. Why don’t people respect their land? I have no idea. It makes me so mad and I wish I could just clean it all up. So of course, garbage leads to rats and cockroaches EVERYWHERE! When I visited Marbo Cave the first night, there were cockroaches running around all over the cave because someone had left their trash. Dumping is illegal here, but most people just go deep into the jungle where they won’t get caught. I find it surprising to be riding around in the middle of nowhere and then see a rusty refrigerator sitting near the roadside. I don’t ever remember seeing anything like this in The States. Even in the Philippines, a third world country, it was much cleaner and I didn’t see any kind of dumping or trash.

Dumping, littering and having no respect for the island are what bother me THE most about Guam!


  1. I’m pretty disappointed, too, about the littering problem on Guam. However, things are starting to pick up as far as recycling and reduction of waste. More and more stores have recycling bins and offer reusable bags as options. But, yeah, nothing frustrates me more than seeing the island’s beauty being marred by rusty cars and discarded trash.

    1. I’m happy that Payless is trying to reduce the usage of plastic bags with its Mission Zero Bags movement. I see small changes in the right direction, which is good for Guam and hopefully brings awareness to a subject that many might not think about. There’s still a long way to go because it involves changing an entire population’s mindset. It’s good to see that things are getting better though!

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