GARBAGE CRISIS IMMINENT
DAGUPAN residents are told to help manage their household wastes or face a garbage crisis in the city sooner than they think.
City Administrator Farah Decano said it is the only remaining alternative since the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has refused to accept any compromise or approve a temporary relief for the city to ease the worsening garbage problem after the city’s open dumpsite was closed on January 20 following a cease and desist order issued by DENR.
Mayor Belen Fernandez is till in the United States for study tour and is expected back in Dagupan February 6.
In its regular session on Wednesday, the city council did not offer a viable immediate solution except to pass the draft ordinance approving the ecological waste management plan of Dagupan from 2015 to 2012.
Meanwhile, City Waste Management Officer Ronald de Guzman said he contacted the city government of Urdaneta for the use of the latter’s sanitary landfill. He was told that the landfill will only accept one ton of residual wastes or equivalent to just one elf truck of plastic materials.
De Guzman admitted that while Dagupan is generating 29 tons of wastes daily, much of the wastes, however, are biodegradable, not residual wastes.
Given the situation, he called on barangay captains to require their constituents to take segregation seriously and to re-use, recycle their wastes and to compost wastes when possible for conversion into fertilizers for urban gardens and farmlands.
Councilor and Liga ng mga Barangay president Lino Fernandez already admitted that the garbage collected from households and deposited in their respective Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) are beginning to pile up faster than they can segregate the household wastes.
He said the same situation is happening in other barangays; worse, many barangays have stopped collecting garbage from homes since they have no place to dump them. He said their respective MRFs are already full with the week’s collection.
Barangays located in the downtown area have no MRFs so establishments and homes’ could not be collected since.
Composting biodegradable wastes can considerably lessen the load in their MTFs by burying of garbage in their low-lying lots, Councilor Fernandez said.
On composting, Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo suggested that former Barangay Captain Carlito Dion of Bued, Calasiao who made an impact in his town when he developed a technology in composting that helped minimize wastes in the town, be invited to speak during the public hearing on February 8 before all barangay chairmen.
Councilor Jeslito Seen suggested that the bio-digester of the city be brought to the rooftop of Malimgas Public Market to digest and make into compost the bio-degradable wastes in that market.
In last Wednesday’s regular session, Councilor Tamayo called the closure of the dumpsite as a possible blessing in disguise to allow the city to flatten the place and make use of it for productive undertakings.
Councilor Redford Erfe Mejia recalled that he sponsored a resolution some years ago seeking the conversion of the entire dumpsite into a tree park. (Leonardo Micua)