Issue of July 7, 2019
Mt. Province
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Garbage segregation to be imposed, higher fees seen
by Ofelia C. Empian

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city government through the General Services Office will intensify its campaign on strict compliance to proper waste segregation to ease the mounting garbage woes in the city.

Magalong, together with City Hall department heads, held a meeting at the decommissioned Irisan dumpsite on July 2 where they discussed the possibility of imposing higher fines to violators who do not practice proper waste segregation.

He said the effect of the sudden closure order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Irisan dumpsite last month was seen through the huge volume of uncollected biodegradable wastes at the city public market and residential areas.

“We need to mitigate and immediately resolve it because people were not prepared during the temporary closure,” he said. 

“Although there is a law on segregation, kailangan talaga magkaroon tayo ng aggressive na drive at disiplinahin ang mga tao,” he added.

Raising the penalties for violators will be part of the legislative agenda of the city council.

The DENR has lifted the closure order on the Irisan controlled dump facility on July 1, but has set conditions the city must comply with.

In a statement, the DENR-Cordillera said all accumulated mixed waste or raw compost mixed with plastics should be hauled out of the area; all equipment to be used in converting raw compost into organic fertilizers should be installed and made operational; that only biodegradable wastes should be brought in the area; and that no residual waste will be stored in the area.

“All of these shall be complied with not later than July 31,” the DENR said.

It also stressed that the Irisan controlled dumpsite should be converted into an eco-park not later than Dec. 31 of this year.

These are all part of the compliance of the city government to the Court of Appeals’ ruling on Aug. 10, 2012 following the deadly trash slide in the area in 2011. 

Magalong said even prior to his formal takeover on July 1, he has been actively coordinating with the officials of Barangay Irisan.

Tinawagan ko na ang Department of Science and Technology at humingi na ako ng tulong kay Usec. Rowena Guevara. Nagpadala na siya kaagad dito ng technical team and then scientists from Adamson University, after a week bioreactor engineers naman. Inimbita ko ang top management ng DENR, that’s the reason why they are here to help us assess iyong situation ng Baguio and then come up with more strategic solutions,” he said.

The city’s organic wastes are currently brought to the Irisan controlled dump facility where it is processed into fertilizer through the city’s system provider, Rapport Innovations.

Rapport’s chair Rod Guerrero said they are also processing the remaining 30,000 metric tons of biodegradable wastes from the decommissioned dumpsite.

Magalong has ordered the company to fast-track the rehabilitation of the multi-million environmental recycling system machines, acquired in the past administration for organic wastes conversion into fertilizer, to aid them in the processing of the organic wastes at the Irisan controlled dump facility.

The mayor said the facility should be up and running by July 20.

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