Landfill to close April 1

Posted on March 29, 2011


No segregation, no trash collection, Mayor Rama warns

By Doris C. Bongcac, Chief of Reporters


Starting Friday, April 1, barangays in Cebu City are no longer supposed to collect unsegregated garbage.

Mayor Michael Rama said this step was necessary because the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill, which is already filled beyond capacity, would be “closed,” a March 31 deadline he had previously set.

To prepare for it, City Hall yesterday began two days of briefings for barangay officials at the Sinulog Hall of the Rizal Public Library.

However, chiefs of the city’s 80 barangays are expected to seek an extension, saying they are not ready with composting sites, shredders or a place to sort out the trash in a material recovery facility (MRF).

“Wala man ta mo oppose nga pa undangon na ta ug labay sa landfill. Ang ato lang concern is the time constraint,” said Michael Ralota, T. Padilla barangay captain and president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC).

Mayor Rama said the change could no longer be postponed.

“For the city’s solid waste management (program) to be successful, it should be (implemented) from the bottom, up,” he said.

He said there’s no reason barangays would not cooperate when City Hall provides each barangay with garbage trucks and fuel, and pays the honorarium of garbage collectors.

He said barangays that don’t cooperate may risk losing the city’s assistance.

The idea is to have garbage sorted out into biodegradable matter (food leftovers, kitchen scraps, garden clippings, etc.) that can be composted in the barangay and non-biodegradable (plastic, bottles, etc.) items that can be recycled, with the remaining residual waste taken to the Inayawan landfill.

A 2005 Cebu City ordinance already requires segregation of wastes at the household level but has not been fully implemented.

City Ordinance No. 2031 authored by Nestor Archival prohibits the disposal of wastes that are not segregated as biodegradable or non-biodegradable, mixing hazardous or special wastes with regular garbage and its disposal outside and beyond the scheduled day of collection.

The penalty is a P1,000 fine or one-month prison terms.

Once it’s closed, the Inayawan landfill would be converted into a “waste-processing area”, said Councilor Eduardo Rama, who is in charge of the city’s solid waste program.

For example, plastic can be shredded and mixed with concrete to as a binder for footpath blocks.

What to do with garbage that can’t be recycled is still a question.

No alternative dumpsite as been identified yet for Cebu City.

“Storyahanan pa na. Ang pinaka labad sa atong ulo karon kanang residual waste (We are still in discussion. What is giving us headache is how to manage residual wastes),” he said.

Councilor Rama said they have given up plans to use a privately operated landfill in barangay Pulog, Consolacion town, which would charge P700 per truckload of trash.

Open dumpsites are banned under Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Law.

Cebu City has been sent several notices by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), reminding the local government of its violation.

“The Inayawan landfill cannot continue to be operating because by now it is no longer used as a landfill but a dumpsite,” said Mayor Rama.

“Under the Solid Waste Management Act, barangays run the risk of being sued (for noncompliance),” said Rama in a press conference.

The 13-member ABC board agreed during their March 23 meeting to appeal to extend the use of the landfill for three more months.

“We are appealing to the mayor for an extension. We need more time to disseminate (garbage segregation) information to the barangays,” Ralot told Cebu Daily News.

Ralota said that most urban barangays lack an MRF because they don’t have a 10- to 20-meter open space to operate one. City Hall recently distributed shredders to 22 barangays.

Yesterday, officials from the 34 southern barangays and the six northern barangays of Ermita, Pahina Central, Kalubihan, Sto. Niño, Parian and San Roque were invited. Today, it’s the turn of 40 other northern barangays.

Engineer Amancio Dungcoy, coordinator for DENR’s solid waste management program, told barangay officials, “Cebu City is mismanaging its waste maong hugaw ta,” he said.

Dungcoy said they should be prepared to adopt garbage segregation and massive composting with the implementation of RA 9003.

“It’s going to be a process. It will not be automatic,” said Mayor Rama said.

He said recommendations will be made tomorrow in the final report of Councilor Rama and Nida Cabrera, who head the committee on public services and the environment.





Posted in: Uncategorized