Cleanup yields tons of garbage

The Freeman - - COMMUNITY -

Some 250 vol­un­teers gath­ered 500 sacks of trash, es­ti­mated at 3.7 met­ric tons of garbage, dur­ing the 10th year edi­tion of the an­nual Save Our Seas (SOS) drive at Luk­nay creek in San Fer­nando town, Cebu.

The vol­un­teers, com­posed mostly of res­i­dents and em­ploy­ees of the mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment, Solid Earth De­vel­op­ment Corp. (SEDC), and Tai­heiyo Ce­ment Philip­pines, Inc. (TCPI), which or­ga­nized the cleanup drive.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Mines and Geo-Sciences (MBG) in the re­gion, the Com­mu­nity En­vi­ron­ment Nat­u­ral Re­sources Of­fice (CENRO) based in Ar­gao and the Bureau of Fire and Pro­tec­tion (BFP) also par­tic­i­pated in the com­mu­nity ac­tion.

Chiyuki Su­gawara, TCPI se­nior vice pres­i­dent and plant man­ager, praised the vol­un­teers for al­lot­ting time and ef­fort “to make small changes in our fu­ture by sim­ply pick­ing up garbage in our sur­round­ings and in the river.”

He noted that many sea birds and ma­rine an­i­mals die for swal­low­ing small frag­ments of garbage, es­pe­cially plas­tic that de­te­ri­o­rates due to ul­tra­vi­o­let rays the sun emits and other nat­u­ral causes.

En­gi­neer Romeo Ge­bi­laguin, TCPI en­vi­ron­ment and safety man­ager, said there is a need to “act now to take care of the en­vi­ron­ment for our next gen­er­a­tion and for them to en­joy the gift of na­ture.”

Cit­ing a study, he said, 10 mil­lion tons of wastes, 70 per­cent of which are plas­tics, lit­ter the ocean ev­ery year, re­sult­ing in the degra­da­tion of the ma­rine habi­tat. “We have to con­tain this mad-made dis­as­ter,” he said. Al­berto Gerozaga, CENRO-Ar­gao’s Con­ser­va­tion De­vel­op­ment Unit head, echoed Ge­bi­laguin’s state­ment.

“House­holds must know and learn how to seg­re­gate plas­tics in or­der to con­tain these from ac­cu­mu­lat­ing more in our wa­ter bod­ies,” he said.

Also, he stressed the im­por­tance of “in­di­vid­ual com­mit­ment and co­op­er­a­tion.”

The vol­ume of col­lected garbage tripled this year ow­ing to the in­creas­ing in­hab­i­tants in the area.

In June last year, the SOS drive gen­er­ated 1.2 met­ric tons of garbage, a drop from 2016’s 2.6 met­ric tons.

Some 150 res­i­dents live along the 593-me­ter low­land por­tion of Luk­nay where runoff wa­ters flow from barangays Tonggo and Tin­ub­dan. Rain­wa­ters from SEDC quarry sites be­hind the plant in Tonggo also run through Luk­nay.

(PR)

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