Why mil­lions for garbage?

The Freeman - - OPINION -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.