LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 17, (PNA)--The city government awarded with certificates of commendation 20 villages with the best practices in garbage collection during the first half of the year.
“Collection of garbage is the foremost item in the agenda of the city administration as a way of sustaining a healthy community and maintaining its image as an environment-friendly locality in the (Bicol) region,” said Mayor Noel E. Rosal.
He said the awardees were recognized for their “effective implementation of the city ordinance on solid waste management,” that is in accordance with Republic Act 9003, also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
The solid waste management awardees were grouped into the “large barangay” and “small barangay” categories.
Among the 10 winners in the “large barangay” category were the villages of Bigaa, Gogon, Puro, Bagumbayan, Arimbay, Bogtong, Bitano, Cruzada, Oro Site and Cabangan West.
Recipients in the “small barangay” category were the villages of Cabangan East, Sabang, Maoyod, Dap-dap, Tamaoyan, Sagpon, Binanuahan West, EM’s Barrio South, Bano and Cabugao.
Rosal said the city ordinance on solid waste disposal provides for the mandatory segregation of biodegradable wastes from the non-recyclable materials.
“The 30 percent of all the garbage produced by households, as well as commercial and other business establishments operating in this city, are deposited at the sanitary landfill,” he said.
Rosal said the remaining garbage are recycled as composts for use as organic fertilizer.
A flagship project of the Philippine and Spanish governments that was built in 2009, the 1.3-hectare sanitary landfill is located 20 kilometers away from the central business district of the city.
City Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Salve Corral said the awardees were evaluated on the basis of seven criteria set.
The criteria included “best practices of waste segregation at source, segregated collection, collection coverage, and cleanliness and orderliness of their garbage collection center, also known as ‘material recovery facility’ or MRF.”
CENRO also assessed the awardees as to how they maintain and operate their equipment on solid waste disposal.
Records of Cenro also showed the villages were monitored as to their “initiatives in recycling, composting and ‘plastic recovery’” and their documentation (filing and photos) of their management activities.
Rosal also urged the village officials to always inform the villagers on how to be “responsible in the dumping of their waste materials.”
“Throwing of garbage in rivers, canals, esteros and other waterways will cause heavy flooding in the city,” he said.
He added this will contaminate the river and make it hazardous to the people’s health in the community.
Aside from encouraging the proper collection of garbage, Rosal said the burning of waste materials is also forbidden.
The prohibition is meant to reduce the ‘Unintentionally Produced Persistent Organic Pollutants’ or UPOPS from waste materials,” he said.
Rosal said in recent years, the city government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources inked an agreement for the implementation of an anti-UPOP project.
Rosal said the city’s sanitary landfill, located in Barangay Banquerohan at the upper portion of the southern areas of this city, “provides two concrete cells where the non-recyclable materials and special waste were deposited and covered with soil.”
He said it was the first and only ecological solid waste management project established in Bicol pursuant to Republic Act 9003.
The engineered landfill was constructed through a PHP100 million fund granted by the Spanish government through Agencia Española Cooperacion International Para El Desarollo, commonly known as Aecid, to the Legazpi city government.
A memorandum of agreement was signed between Rosal and Spanish Ambassador Luis Arias Romero for the undertaking.
Rosal pointed out the landfill in Banquerohan has become a model in promoting a safe and sustainable environment.
He said other localities have shown interest in having similar facilities for the treatment of their waste. The city government monitors more than 70 villages around the city to effectively implement its ordinance for a healthy and safe environment. (PNA) FPV/GVR/EPS/cbd