Nation approves legislation for plan to reduce, manage and dispose of solid waste

Plan outlines the practices of landfills, transfer stations within three states on Navajo Nation

CHURCHROCK, N.M. — Legislation for the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan for the Navajo Nation was recently approved by the Resource and Development Committee (RDC).

The plan was developed and submitted by the Navajo Nation Division of Community Development.

Legislation sponsor, Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay, Jr. (Low Mountain, Many Farms, Nazlini, Tachee/Blue Gap, Tselani/Cottonwood), stated the plan outlines how the Nation will reduce, manage, and dispose of solid waste.

“Solid waste has been a huge issue and concern on the Nation for many years. This plan will address those problems, and it will provide guidance to develop a solid waste management program, which is highly needed,” Begay said.

In September, RDC member Council Delegate Davis Filfred (Mexican Water, Aneth, Teecnospos, Tółikan, Red Mesa) recommended a work-session to review, analyze, and discuss the proposed plan, which was held on Nov. 14.

“A solid waste management plan is highly needed. On a daily basis, Navajo citizens raise concerns over illegal trash dumping and the unavailability of solid waste disposal within communities. Most importantly, the Nation needs to consider options to recycle solid waste,” Filfred said.

According to the legislation, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan outlines the practices of landfills, transfer stations within the three states, Navajo Nation solid waste regulations, solid waste program responsibilities, methods of waste disposal, waste sheds responsibilities, and the priorities for future solid waste management practices.

RDC chair Council Delegate Alton Joe Shepherd (Jeddito, Cornfields, Ganado, Kin Dah Lichíí, Steamboat), said the solid waste management plan would allow the Nation to improve and implement the solid waste efforts.

“This is the first step for major improvements. The plan would specifically identify waste disposal opportunities, deficiencies in the current system, priorities for improvement, and support future proposals for solid waste funding,” he said.

The Resources and Development Committee approved Legislation No. 0364-17 with a vote of 4-0 and serves as the final authority for the bill.

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