Davao City gears up for responsible waste management system

October 27, 2009 10:03 am 

By Lovely A. Carillo

DAVAO CITY, Oct. 27 –While the country has a law that aims to keep the streets and the drainage clean, its poor implementation has been blamed for clogged drainage systems and unsegregated garbage.

This was proven when the killer flood hit Metro Manila and almost the entire area of Luzon a few weeks ago.

With this, the local government of Davao City has complied with the provisions of Republic Act 9003 : the implementation of garbage recycling, garbage segregation and composting, as well as the ban on open dumpsites.

The city is on its way not only in preventing the same flooding incident that occurred in Luzon and Metro Manila.

It has already placed a sanitary landfill project that aims for a more responsible waste management system which will be operated starting this December.

City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) officer-in-charge Marivic Reyes said the city had embarked on a P268-million sanitary landfill projects in Carmen, Tugbok District.

“We do not have any problem with that since Davao City is compliant with RA 9003,” Reyes said.

Meanwhile, CENRO Operations Division chief Engineer Redgie Aque said that while waiting for the completion and turnover of the sanitary landfill in Carmen, the city was temporarily using the open dumpsite in Lacson, Calinan. Once the sanitary landfill is turned over to the city government, all the city’s garbage will then go directly to the landfill.

Aque said the sanitary landfill was a more controlled and diagnostic method of disposing garbage since the landfill made use of a liner and an impounding pound to keep the area safe.

Reyes said the city had embarked on a 10-year solid waste management plan following the provisions of RA 9003. The resolution, which was sponsored by city councilor Leonardo Avila, is now on its 6th draft and still being improved to provide solid waste management guidance to Dabawenyos.

The resolution provides that the local government units should ensure the efficient management of solid waste generated in their jurisdiction through the re-use, recycling and composting of the generated waste.

Avila said the Davao City Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance of 2009 aimed to ensure public health and the environment by utilizing environmentally-sound methods and by ensuring the “proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of solid waste, among others.

The ordinance seeks to reduce the use of plastic bags and ban the use of Polystyrene foam and plastic bags as food containers. Once implemented, the law requires all stores in the city to only use recycled and recyclable paper bags, biodegradable plastics bags, reusable bags including native and cloth bags and used corrugated boxes or carbons for their customers’ use.

The ordinance further bans, within three years from its approval, the use of plastic bags as well as polystyrene foam as food containers. In lieu of these, the ordinance requires the use of only recyclable, biodegradable and reusable containers.

“Wala man mi naghunong sa pag implement sa garbage segregation; kanang ginaingon nila na gina mix lang sa mga basurero ang garbage gina-presume man gud namo na nakasegregate na sya pagbutang sa garbage bin ug mga residual waste na lang ang naa sa bins (We have never stopped implementing garbage segregation and we presume that only the residual waste are being place inside the garbage bins),” Reyes said.

She said there were barangays that were already implementing the policy on waste segregation. Among them are barangays Hizon in Pampanga and Catalunan Grande.

In the meantime, she added, CENRO was continuing its Information and Education Campaign among the barangays.

Reyes said there was still a great of education and information dissemination to be done to make Dabawenyos comply with the waste segregation law.

She said the sanitary landfill, which is being scheduled for turnover already, was expected to improve waste disposal in the city.

While she admitted that garbage can result to clogged drainage, which leads to flooding, it is not however the one and only cause of flooding.

Other factors to consider, she said, included the quality of the drainage system, lack of trees in the mountains and strong rainfall.

Reyes said CENRO collected between 900 to a thousand cubic meters of garbage per day. This is about 300 to 350 tons of garbage per day.

She further said while the city’s garbage collection was slightly on the rise, it was not constant and it could increase or decrease, depending on a lot of factors including population increase. (PNA)

RMA/Lovely A. Carillo/lvp

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