Baguio City to take the lead in solid waste disposal

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BAGUIO CITY – City government offices will lead the compliance to solid waste disposal and collection policies so that city officials and employees will have the moral ascendancy to compel residents in the different barangays to strictly adhere to the segregation of waste at source.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong ordered all departments of the city government to ensure the garbage being brought out and dumped to the city’s materials recovery facility (MRF) is properly segregated and no unsegregated should be disposed to the facility.

He pointed out he will take it against the concerned department heads once unsegregated garbage is in the city’s MRF as the city government has to lead by example in the proper disposal of garbage, especially the segregation of waste at source, to serve as model for local officials and employees in convincing residents in the city’s 128 barangays to comply with the standing policy.

The city chief executive came out with the directive after receiving reports that unsegregated garbage from various offices of the city have been allegedly dumped in the city’s MRF which does not conform with the standards of segregation of waste at source.

Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 provides it is incumbent upon households to segregate their waste at their residences to ensure only segregated garbage is brought out and dumped in the identified pick-up points in the barangays, thus, the obligation to properly dispose garbage lies in the residents and not solely lodged with the government.

The city government has time and again been reminding barangay residents to ensure the garbage they bring to their identified pick-up points are segregated to avoid such unsegregated garbage from being returned to them by supervising barangay officials.

The City Mayor underscored it will be easier for city officials and employees to convince residents to comply with the policy of segregation of waste at source if the different departments themselves demonstrate the same when dumping their garbage in the designated MRF.

The segregation of waste at source is one of strategy in reducing the volume of garbage in the barangays as it is the obligation of the households to dispose their generated biodegradable waste through various modes such as composting, among other identified alternatives.

The city government is continuously hauling its residual waste out of the city from its waste transfer station within a portion of the Baguio Dairy Farm to the engineered sanitary landfill in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan through a commissioned hauler.

The hauling of the city’s residual waste outside the city remains the most doable strategy while awaiting the realization of the city government’s plan to establish a waste-to-energy plant, among other proposed alternatives.

By Dexter A. See