MORE trash, lack of equipment and foul smell experienced by nearby residents and establishments are among the problems faced with the reopened Inayawan sanitary landfill in Cebu City.

An official of the Department of Public Services (DPS) said more trash are being dumped now in the Inayawan sanitary landfill.

From an average of 456 tons of garbage dumped daily since the landfill reopened in June this year, the area already accommodated about 600 tons of trash per day, as of August, said DPS chief Roberto Cabarrubias.

TIMELINE: State of Inayawan Sanitary Landfill after reopening

Mayor Tomas Osmeña recently issued a memorandum directing all villages and department heads to strictly enforce the “no segregation, no collection” policy.

Lack of equipment

The collectors gather trash every day from 3 a.m. to 10 a.m., 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on special trips from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cabarrubias said they have a total of 33 dump trucks, 10 operational ten-wheelers and 23 six-wheelers. Of the 23 six-wheelers, only 18 are operational.

He said they need an ideal of 50 to 60 dump trucks so other trucks can be used as a preventive maintenance.

The DPS has one bulldozer that was borrowed from the Cebu Contractors Association.

The office's three bulldozers went operational, two had bogged down while the other went overheat.

Cabarrubias said his office has forwarded a purchase request to the City Budget Office for additional five 10-wheeler dump trucks that can carry 10 tons of garbage.

They are still waiting for the City Council's response on the purchase, he said.

Health concerns

The DPS head said they have covered the trash with excess filling materials from contractors to prevent the stench, following complaints of nearby residents, including students of the University of Cebu Mambaling campus, and business establishments.

The city's Accelerated Social Amelioration Program (ASAP) passed a resolution approving the purchase of P1.9-million worth of enzymes for the landfill.

He said the enzyme, a good bacteria, will be mixed with water and will be sprayed over the landfill to gradually decrease the foul smell.

The enzyme also accelerates the decomposition of the biodegradable wastes.

READ: Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña authorizes contractors to send excess filling materials to Inayawan landfill to limit stench

LGUs, public participation

Engr. William Cuñado, regional director of the Environmental Management Bureau in Central Visayas, said in a separate interview that they are encouraging the villages to properly segregate their wastes and not wait for trash collectors.

He said barangay levels should have material recovery facilities (MRF) that will be used to reduce the volume of waste being dumped to the dumping sites.

Cuñado also encouraged everyone to segregate in their households.

"We have a lot of solid waste in the streets and in our dump site because we have no proper segregation, proper management of our waste. So, in that sense, all of us are responsible in terms of handling our solid waste because we are also the source of it. We should have a cooperation. Everyone must help so we can properly manage our waste and we will have a better and clean environment," he said.

READ: Cebu City to resolve its 36 violations to Inayawan landfill’s EEC

The 15.4-hectare landfill was reopened in June this year to save the city's fund that was paid to the private sanitary landfill owned by Asian Energy Systems Corp. in Consolacion.

The mayor wanted the Inayawan landfill reopened, because there was no contract between the City and the Asian Energy Systems Corp.

The City paid an average of P20 million per month to dump its trash in the private sanitary landfill.

The P209-million worth Inayawan landfill, which started operating on September 11, 1998, was designed to last only for seven years, which means it was supposed to close in 2005.

The landfill was partially closed in 2011 as ordered by then mayor Michael Rama.

The landfill has a total area of 15.41 hectares but only 11.73 hectares are used for actual dumping.

The Department of Health has advised Cebu City to close the landfill because it poses a health hazard to the public.

But Cabarrubias said: "Asa man nato ilabay ang basura? Kinahanglan mag-plano ta sa pag-close. Di man na sayon sayon pag-close sa landfill kay before ka mag-close kinahanglan naa kay plano. Kay og diretso ka og close naa biya nay basura diha, ug imo nang biyaan ang basura, baho gihapon kaayo. (Where will we throw the garbage? We need to plan before closing it, because if we close it and there are stll trash inside, the stench will still remain)." (Sunnex)