Why millions for garbage?
We all want to live in a clean, healthy city - a sustainable livable city. However, are we also doing our share to keep the city clean, healthy, livable, and sustainable?
Keeping a city clean is not just the responsibility or task of the local government. Everyone has to work together, collectively, in a coordinated manner, to reach the goal of a clean, healthy, livable city.
Take garbage as a clear example. Everyone knows the ill effects of indiscriminate disposal of non-segregated garbage. Yet, there is garbage, garbage, garbage everywhere.
Everyone knows garbage does not come from nowhere. Those who generate waste have been long identified - people, industries, offices, communities, schools, churches. The common denominator - garbage comes from people.
Why do people throw their waste, rather than just manage it responsibly? For example, why do people spend so much time cleaning, tidying up, beautifying tombs of their dead only to leave behind tons of garbage throughout the cemeteries?
This year's garbage collected from nine cemeteries throughout Cebu City totaled about 45 tons! So much garbage generated within just two days!
We laud the efforts of all in government and private sectors who devoted time, attention, and resources to manage waste. However, different styles of waste management, often without collaborative coordination, result in very high volume of collected waste per year.
We applaud those who exert much effort to managing and prohibiting plastics within Cebu City and those who do inexpensive but highly participative river cleanups. We are grateful to all those who help clean up disposed waste in various parts of the city as well.
However, we are greatly concerned about the unabated increase of collected and disposed non-segregated garbage. Waste management is never just the collection and disposal of garbage. Waste management needs for all, in a collaborative, coordinated manner, to implement a system that will address waste generation and characterization, segregation, reduction, recycling, reuse, rejection of excessive, unnecessary, eco-unfriendly packaging, and appropriate waste treatment and disposal together and comprehensively!
We are very concerned about the DPS plan to buy 21 compactors truck next year reportedly to decrease Cebu City's expenses for private garbage collection and disposal (about P500 million this year). The planned purchase will amount to P231 million, minus expenses for fuel and spare parts.
Will the purchase result in better waste management, reduced waste volume, and reduced expenses for garbage disposal and collection?
A look at the city's garbage easily confirms that increasing garbage vehicles did not at all decrease garbage including garbage budget through the years!
If garbage trucks do not result in waste reduction and responsible waste management, why not consider other options to maximize multi-sectoral, multilevel collaborative efforts, to minimize waste and waste budget, even create employment, provide income, clean up communities, and have a more livable clean and healthy city?
Why not, for example, allot more budget to the basura for grocery project or employ more waste segregators and managers per sitio, thereby expanding the range of participants to assist the city government's waste management campaign?
Why not have more inexpensive but quality shredders per community, in schools and other public places? Why not give incentives to communities, markets, schools, offices, businesses and institutions with more segregated, recycled, reduced, reused waste?
We want to know as well if the DPS plan to spend P231 million to buy 21 compactor trucks has been discussed and coordinated with Cebu City's CENRO, other city government sections engaged in waste management, and the public.
There is an urgent need for a sustainable, participative, collaborative, synchronized, well-coordinated, and eco-friendly waste management system throughout the city.