“No segregation, No collection.” was a garbage collection policy imposed by the City of Baguio in 2005 under the stewardship of former Mayor Braulio Yaranon. If this was diligently and continuously followed and implemented by the City managements that came after him, by this time the segregation of waste would be a habitual practice in every household. The city would be reaping its advantages by now instead of being slapped with legal suits, but that is water under the bridge now.
It might have been more prudent to have listened to the people in 2008 or before, and just closed the Irisan dumpsite instead of suing the protesters in court then. The city continues to play deaf and just further earns the ire of its own people and its neighbors.
Our mayor has made a contract that passes the responsibility of garbage collection and disposal of the non-biodegradable waste to a private firm. And he tells us over media that the people of Baguio need not worry as he has ordered this private company to do their job according to their contract. Therefore, we can expect the bags of garbage to be regularly collected as scheduled, and not left to just pile up by the street corners everyday.
Still, the city has to see to it that stipulations in that contract are fulfilled. Not just the money making part of it but also the quality of its service to upkeep general sanitation and cleanliness. On the other hand, while the non-biodegradable garbage is now in the hands of the contractor, the city can now focus on other aspects of waste management like house hold programs for biodegradable materials as composting, vermiculture, etc.; and the rehabilitation of the city’s sewage system.
Talking of water under the bridge, it may mean differently if it refers to the Balili River. The season is moving into the dry months and the initial road works has uncovered or even caused sewage leaks that literally over flow unto some of the main roads: Naguillan Road, Harrison Road, and Magsaysay Avenue, to name a few. The stink, having to walk over it or being splashed by it by a running vehicle is not the only problem, besides the stress and discomfort there, is the health and sanitation aspect as the public is exposed to this dirt.
Balili was not the official dumpsite of the city’s sewage, it is the natural course of the waters’ flow from the higher-ground city. La Trinidad can yet file the next kalikasan suit vs. Baguio. It is good that the City through the conscientious head of the City Environment office has expressed respect for this natural location of the City and the recognition of the City’s responsibility to take on the clearing of (its) the 80 percent of city pollutants flowing unbridled down to that important river. Hopefully a comprehensive plan to solve this shall reflect these points, and shall soon be presented to the public. # nordis.net