Dad says ‘opportunists’ collect firms’ garbage for a fee as city suffers trash crisis

OPPORTUNISTS” are allegedly proliferating in Cebu City following the City Government’s closure of its sanitary landfill in Barangay Inayawan.

Private persons are reportedly preying on business establishments, offering to collect their garbage for a fee.

During the City Council’s regular session yesterday, Councilor Gerardo Carillo said he wants the legislative body investigate the matter.

“I was informed that there are private groups going around and telling the establishments that considering the City’s inability to collect garbage, they will do it for a higher fee. They are trying to profit from the situation. They are exploiting the condition of the City’s garbage,” he said in a privilege speech yesterday.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella then asked Carillo to identify these groups.

Names

Councilor Nida Cabrera, chairperson of the council committee on environment, said one of them is Paglaum Basurero 20/20, the same group that has been questioned by the Council in September 2013 for collecting fees for a seminar that the City gives for free.

Councilor Margarita Osmeña said she heard the same and added that Barangay Capitol Site wrote her office and complained about the matter.

Carillo said the investigation should start soon.

Aside from this, Carillo moved yesterday to request the Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB) to brief the council on the Solid Waste Management Plan of the City now that the Inayawan landfill has closed.

The implementation of the plan, he said, will help solve the city’s garbage problem.

“I have gone around the city and seen many garbage dumped on some streets and uncollected. The state of garbage collection in the city has come into a state of emergency. We need to put our acts together regardless of political color or else our city will become a huge garbage bin,” he said.

He moved that the council form a special committee that will work with the executive department to address the concern on solid waste.

The committee will be formed after the Council’s executive session with the SWMB, the private groups collecting garbage, and the Department of Public Services scheduled on Feb. 20.

It was last Jan. 15 when the City shut down the Inayawan landfill for good after 17 years of operation.

The City decided to close it as it has long exceeded its capacity and to comply with environmental laws.

Road map

A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is proposing the measurement of mercury concentration in the pond near the non-operational Inayawan landfill and underground water around the landfill.

“There is a need to investigate the existence or non existence, the level of contamination, the presence or absence and scope of dispersion and permeation from soil, leachate, sediments and grass at the Inayawan Landfill with a special attention to the report regarding the detection of mercury,” said Jica’s action plan for environmentally sustainable closure of the landfill.

The roadmap for SWM is part of Jica’s Interim Report III on Roadmap Study for Sustainable Urban Development for Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB).

MCDCB is composed of 13 mayors of cities and municipalities of Metro Cebu from Carcar City to Danao City. The Jica team conducts technical studies and makes recommendations for development for the 13 LGU’s of MCDCB.

Jica’s short-term recommendation is a comprehensive solid waste masterplan for Metro Cebu.

Recommendations

Jica also recommended waste reduction by promoting segregation at source, which involves households and communities; forming a resource recovery society to promote market-oriented recycling businesses; improve guidelines in collection and transport methods; organize city-wide materials recovery facility (MRF); and introduce waste management buy-back recycling system for electronic products by building a resource recovery center.

Jica also recommended the upgrading of its composting facilities. Their study showed that Cebu’s agriculture needs 1,331,690 to 2,663,380 tons of compost every year. The total volume of compost produced in Metro Cebu would satisfy six percent of the total
requirement, so there will never be oversupply of compost.

Jica study covers only 13 Metro Cebu local government units (LGUs), prompting the governor to expand its study to include other Cebu LGUs.

“Nihangyo ta nga i-apil ang province and others, aron matun-an ug unsay maayong i-recommend nila (We’re asking them to include the whole province, so we can study their recommendations),” Davide said.
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