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SWMO intensifies post-fiesta garbage collection

By Jason B. Neola

THE recently-concluded Peñafrancia fiesta here has left the city’s Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO) with the gargantuan task of collecting 300 to 350 tons of garbage, which is approximately 71% higher than the volume of garbage collected on normal days.

The huge volume prompted the SWMO to increase the frequency of garbage collection and deploy more garbage trucks from 5 to 8 units.

SWMO’s intensified garbage collection and disposal began on September 16 when the influx of pilgrims and visitors started to come in and the volume of garbage began increased from 94 tons to 150 tons per day. The figure quickly rose to 170 tons on the following day.

“As days drew near the date of fiesta celebration, specifically from September 18 to 20, the size of our garbage became more than double, allowing us to register an estimated volume of 300 to 350 tons of garbage per day,” says Engr. Joel Martin, SWMO chief.

The actual volume of garbage is determined by the number of deliveries made by each dump truck on daily basis. SWMO, in this specific task, dispatches an average of 18 to 25 truckloads of garbage daily.

The operation of dump trucks, according to Martin, was shifted to the city’s residential districts last Monday after the garbage situations in Central Business Districts I and II settled to a manageable level or had come to normal like it was before the fiesta.

Martin, however, said that nighttime deliveries of garbage from the city’s commercial areas to Balatas dumpsite will continue so as to avoid delays caused by traffic congestion during daytime.

“Our office believes that there are 200 tons more of household waste that we should gather until September 27 before we can go back to our normal routine,” he said. Dump trucks have started to pick up waste in the residential areas which primarily cover the barangays of Concepcion Grande, Del Rosario, Pacol, and Carolina.

Garbage collection schedule includes the Naga City Subdivision in Brgy. Triangulo and other residential zones in villages located in the lower part of the city.

In a related development, Martin expressed apprehension over the continuous stockpiling of garbage in Balatas dumpsite, saying that it would hinder the development being undertaken by the city government in the area.

The facility, which began to accommodate solid wastes for more than 40 years now, is presently undergoing re-development leading to its final closure, and the establishment of a new waste processing plant.

Martin said his office was able to find a short-term approach wherein the “post-fiesta” garbage could not hamper the development on-going at the site by way of designating a space intended for the garbage.

This year’s fiesta celebration left the biggest volume of garbage, compared to those collected in the previous years, Martin revealed.