P16M compactor trucks approved

THE Baguio City Council approved the request of Mayor Mauricio Domogan to purchase two compactor trucks to ease garbage collection and minimize the use of a transfer and sorting area for solid waste.

Domogan appeared before the City Council’s regular session Monday afternoon explaining that there is an existing appropriation of P16 million in the ordinance crafted then by the Council for the purchase of dump trucks.

But as per recommendation of the Commission on Audit, the Council must specify that compactors instead of dump trucks will be purchased.

"The audit said we should ask the City Council to amend the ordinance to specify the city will be purchasing a compactor," the mayor said.

The mayor said the City Government needs compactor trucks to complement the 17 dump trucks collecting garbage in 19 pickup stations in the city and covering 128 barangays.

The compactor trucks will also modify the mode of garbage collection citing trash segregation will be conducted in barangays and no longer in the trucks and in the transfer and sorting station.

"This way the barangays will be able to see the wastes coming from residences and force them to comply with RA (Republic Act) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act," he said.

Domogan also answered an earlier question of Councilor Peter Fianza on garbage leachate stressing the compactor trucks have leachate storage ensuring liquid waste is not spilled on the streets and risk going directly to the city’s sewerage treatment plant.

Domogan stressed the immediate need to buy two compactor trucks citing the use of the transfer and sorting station in Sitio Lamtang in Puguis, La Trinidad is nearing its deadline. The compacted trash will also be easier to transfer to the Urdaneta City landfill, the exec noted.

City Accountant Antonio Tabin said the Council needs to revert and appropriate through a supplemental budget ordinance the P16 million fund to buy the compactor trucks.

General Services Officer Romeo Concio said a 12 cubic meter compactor can accommodate three loads of six to eight cubic meter load of an open dump truck.

Concio said the compactor requires lesser manpower. An open dump truck requires at least seven people including the driver while a compactor truck only requires a driver and two personnel to load garbage in the vehicle.

"It can facilitate the collection since there will be no sorting in transit. It can also encourage the barangay to implement segregation and sorting in their areas," he said.

The general services officer said compactor trucks are also more efficient in collecting trash covering more areas per load compared to open dump trucks.

Councilor Fianza, meanwhile, asked on the lifespan of the trucks and the possible displacement of collectors. He added the private garbage hauler of the city will be more benefitted from the purchase than the current collection system.

But Concio said no garbage sorter will be displaced and will continue working in pick-up points collecting recyclable materials.

Fianza added the purchase of a compactor truck will be rendered useless and ineffective as it is not compatible with the current solid waste management system. He added these trucks will not work when wastes are wet which is why he suggests for the city to provide a dry storage area for trash.

Councilor Fred Bagbagen who heads the Committee on Environment recommended approval of the measure with eight councilors or a majority voting for the measure to be passed.

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