BAGUIO CITY (May 24) — An urban planner here appealed to the city’s residents to practice waste segregation at source in his bid to jump start a paradigm shift at attacking the mounting problem of solid waste disposal in the city.
Public Services Officer Ruben Cervantes of the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) told Nordis in an interview there should be an intensive information, education and communication campaign on solid waste management now that work has started for the eventual closure of the Irisan dump site.
Cervantes said the contractor, Asia EnviroCon, began working on the complete closure of 70% of the open dump site Saturday after the May 11 groundbreaking ceremonies. He said the garbage dump would be covered with compacted soil materials and later landscaped.
The remaining 30% would be up for rehabilitation as an interim disposal facility up to end of 2008, but according to Cervantes if people would not classify their wastes, it would be filled before its expected life ends.
Segregation at source
“There should be massive waste segregation at source,” Cervantes iterated, saying it could be done easily. He cited the two-month experience in May to July 2005 when the city experimented on waste segregation.
Cervantes also commended Barangay Greenwater for consistently classifying its wastes. He also cited barangays San Luis and Middle Quezon Hill for trying to segregate trash. Lourdes Subdivision put up a local material recovery facility (MRF). Loakan barangay collects its own garbage, while Lower Rock Quarry has acquired its own garbage truck, according to Cervantes.
“These are little efforts that reduce garbage and convert wastes into cash,” Cervantes said. He wanted to inculcate in each family that solid waste management should be the task of every one who creates it.
Garbage pile up in highly urbanized cities, according to Cervantes. He quipped, even emerging town centers like Sablan, Tuba, La Trinidad and Itogon are now worrying how to manage their solid waste.
Starting in September this year, there would be two collection schemes once the waste segregation policy starts, according to Cervantes. For the central business district (CBD), market and institutional areas, and parks where a two-truck system would be implemented. The first truck would collect biodegradable and recyclable wastes, to be followed after an hour by the second truck which would get residual and special wastes. Special wastes are petroleum-laden such as those from car repair shops clarified Cervantes.
For areas outside the CBD, two collection days would be designated, one for biodegradable and recyclables and the other for residual wastes. Every month a truck would collect special and residual wastes.
“We will try to implement the ‘No Segregation, No Collection policy’,” said Cervantes. He added that local government units are to provide garbage collectors who would get their income from recyclable materials while CEPMO will collect residual and special wastes.
Meanwhile, according to Cervantes, negotiations are underway for the proposed sanitary landfill in either Tuba or Itogon towns in Benguet. The implementing rules and regulations of the Philippine Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 or Republic Act 9003, defines a Sanitary landfill as “a waste disposal site designed, constructed, operated and maintained in a manner that exerts engineering control over significant potential environmental impacts arising from the development and operation of the facility”. The site shall be large enough to accommodate the community’s waste for a period of five (5) years or more during which people must internalize the value of environmentally sound and sustainable waste disposal, the IRR further states.
Cervantes iterated the two-year Irisan closure plan envisions to utilize the present dump site into a transfer station where a bigger truck would get all wastes for transport to the permanent waste disposal facility. # Lyn V. Ramo for NORDIS