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ASPA to issue RFP for recycling program

The American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) is working on the final stages of issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the popular recycling program.


The RFP is to get the local private sector involved in collecting and shipping recyclables off island.


Locals have been wondering about the status of the recycling program since last year when it was put on hold after it was deemed that land in the Tafuna Industrial Park was unavailable.


Initially, ASPA was working with the Dept. of Commerce to secure a piece of land at the Tafuna Industrial Park that, according to ASPA Executive Director Utu Abe Malae, would be “more conducive to staging the recycling process and handling traffic queues”.


At the time, no private recycling company expressed interest or had the capability to partner with ASPA on the project.


Local residents have since been asking when the program will be back in full swing, as it was a way for them to turn in their recyclables in exchange for credit on their utility bills.


The program was halted when ASPA had to work on sorting the items and shipping them off to their vendor in New Zealand.


Last November, Utu, in response to Samoa News queries, said the program would be reinstated if ASPA could find a private company to team up with.


An ASPA official told the Samoa News yesterday that the semi-autonomous agency intends to work with the private sector, as they are not in the business of competing with local businesses.


Samoa News understands the entire recycling process will be put out for bid once the RFP is finalized.


The program, according to ASPA customer service manager Ryan Tuato’o, is not only good for the customers, but also the environment.


Last year, Utu said that as a business venture, the recycling program operation resulted in a loss of $868,000 for ASPA but in the long run, “We aim to break even.”


He noted during an initial interview, “We can afford the program to operate with a small loss because there are benefits of extending the life of the sanitary landfill, and cleaning up and protecting the environment, including marine life.”


Samoa News understands one of the biggest difficulties ASPA faces in order to continue the recycling program is the availability of land for the program. At one point, ASPA was looking at land in the Industrial Park, but was told by the Dept. of Commerce that no land was available for use or lease.


ASPA’s recycling program was very popular with the local community because ASPA paid people with vouchers that were used to offset their power bills.