By Gerald O. Enguero
|WASTEBUSTER. With steel wheels fitted for the railroad track, this mechanized waste collector cart spares Naga City’s railroad barangays from uncollected accumulated garbage. SMO PHOTO|
This city’s waste disposal system takes another innovative turn with the deployment of rolling “skates” for garbage collection, along the railroad barangays of the city.
The scheme was formally launched last March 9 by City Mayor John Bongat and personnel of the Solid Waste Management Office headed by Engr. Joel Martin, wherein a scale model (see photo) of the rolling garbage collection skate was presented.
The rolling skates will collect biodegradable wastes every Wednesday and Friday and non-biodegradables every Sunday along and near the railway route that traverses the barangays of Mabolo, Tabuco, Triangulo Proper, Lerma Proper, SM Crossing, Naga City Subdivision, Concepcion Pequeña, and Concepcion Grande.
Engr. Martin said that with the operation of the rolling garbage collectors along the railways, the office is now near achieving 100 percent garbage collection on a regular basis.
“The city’s efficiency is currently 93% in terms of collecting and managing its garbage, the remaining 7% is directed along the rail road track and the river side, which comprise 4% and 3%, respectively, because those areas are not easily accessible to garbage trucks.
Alice E. Parco, a resident of Triangulo Proper, said that before the advent of the rolling garbage cart, her fellow residents along the railroad tracks usually burn their wastes, which is hazardous to both the people’s health and the environment, aside from posing risk for disastrous fire to start.
A lights off worldwide
The city government here, in collaboration with the city’s various business establishments will turn off the lights for 60 minutes plus on Saturday, March 31, in observance of the Earth Hour, with 100 other countries participating worldwide.
The environmental campaign is being organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which adopted the theme: “Go Beyond the Hour” for this year. The idea gives way to various long term commitments aimed at protecting the Mother Earth against practices that are damaging to the planet.
An ordinance prohibiting the use of plastic bags on dry goods and regulating its utilization on wet goods and prohibiting the use of styrofoam within the city of naga and prescribing penalties thereof:
Sponsor: Hon Maria Elizabeth Q. Lavadia
Co- Sponsor: Hon. David Casper Nathan A. Sergio, Hon. Ray-An Cydrick G. Rentoy, Hon. Salvador M. Del Castillo and Hon. Jose A. Tuason
Since its invention sometime in 1862 by Alexander Parkes, plastics, particularly plastic bags, are considered to be a revolutionary product. Undoubtedly, plastic bags became a low-cost, convenient and sanitary means to package food and other products. The use of “bayong” and jute- fiber sacks has long been outmoded by sando bags and plastic fiber sacks, respectively. Needless to say, plastic has become a universal packaging material. In fact the global production of plastic materials has reached 200 billion pounds per year.
However, everything has its own pro’s and con’s. By their very nature, plastic packaging materials almost always find their way to trash bins, becoming a major part of the waste stream of human settlements. On a global side, plastic materials make up 16% of the dumps in the world. In Naga City, these plastic bags make up a part of what is considered the residuals or those that cannot be recycled into new materials or processed into compost.
The common knowledge and acceptance of the fact that plastic bags have negative impact on the environment is enough for us to think of ways on how to minimize better yet eradicate the use of environmental hazard. It’s time to follow suit with other environment-friendly NGO’s and LGU’s in the advocacy efforts to reduce the use of plastic materials.
WHEREAS, Article II, Sec. 6 of the Philippine Constitution provides that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature;
WHEREAS, Sec. 3 (i) of RA 7160 provides that the Local Government Units shall share with the national government the responsibility in the management and maintenance of ecological balance within their territorial jurisdiction;
WHEREAS, Sec. 458 (vi) of RA 7160 also empowers the Sangguniang bayan / Panlungsod to protect the environment and impose appropriate penalties for acts which endanger the environment including such activities which results in pollution acceleration or eutrophication of rivers and lakes or of ecological imbalance;
WHEREAS, Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 provides for the identification and listing of Non- Environmentally Acceptable Products (NEAP) and packaging material. The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) has adopted and issued guidelines for NEAP and has identified plastic packaging as one of only 5 product groupings that shall undergo assessment;
WHEREAS, plastic bags are rampantly used as packaging materials in the City of Naga and elsewhere;
WHEREAS, plastic bags and Styrofoam, being non-biodegradable materials clog our canals, creeks, rivers and other waterways, and during rainy season end up in Naga river causing harm to the river and the surrounding barangays;
WHEREAS, DESPITE SERIOUS EFFORTS OF THE City to segregate compostable, recyclable and reusable waste materials, plastics and other similar materials remain in the waste stream and eventually become residuals;
WHEREAS, the City is spending a considerable amount of money for operational and maintenance expenses on waste disposal;
WHEREAS, the City of Naga in its desire to reduce if not totally eliminate the use of plastic film bags as packaging materials, encourages the utilization of alternative packaging materials such as woven bags (bayong), cloth bags (katsa), paper bags and other similar materials (e.g. banana leaves, taro leaves, etc.) and at the same time enjoined to promote the “Bring Your Own Bag”;