AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 urged local and foreign tourists that will be attending the Sinulog Festival this Sunday to avoid the indiscriminate throwing of trash in the streets.

DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Isabelo Montejo Jr. said that while it has been a tradition to celebrate the annual feast of the Santo Niño on the streets, he urged the public to also consider the environmental impact of the annual celebration.

“Enjoying the celebration of the Feast of the Santo Niño is a cherished and treasured tradition among Cebuanos and it has become an occasion for reunion of families, but we should do away with practices that harm the environment and our health,” Montejo said in a statement.

He said Cebu City has an estimated waste discharge of more than 500 tons per day or .7 kgs. per person per day.

Increase

Montejo said that during last year’s Sinulog Festival, there were about 187 tons of waste collected in the streets. He said that the waste collected last year was 113 percent higher compared to the previous year’s, which was only 165 tons.

Montejo said that uncollected and unsegregated trash left on the streets could find its way into and choke rivers and sewers, posing risks to the health and safety of surrounding communities.

Uncollected and unsegregated trash is also a major cause of flooding during heavy downpours, Montejo said.

He urged the Cebu City Government and business establishments within the city to provide waste receptacles, placed in strategic locations, to help promote cleanliness and waste segregation.

Initiatives

Montejo appealed to the public to take initiatives during the Sinulog Festival such as bringing separate trash bags for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.

The public are also encouraged to use reusable utensils, to bring sufficient amounts of food and drinks placed in recyclable containers and to bring home leftovers for reheating, pet food or compost material to minimize trash.

Montejo also advised the public to not burn their garbage as it will contribute to air pollution.