Groups suggest solutions to landfill problem

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Nestle L. Semilla September 03,2016 - 10:59 PM
Environmentalists suggest  that the problem at the Inayawan landfill cannot be solved by government alone.  City residents and the business sector will have to help, too, in whatever way they can. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Environmentalists suggest that the problem at the Inayawan landfill cannot be solved by government alone. City residents and the business sector will have to help, too, in whatever way they can. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

MOUNTING pollution at the Cebu City landfill in Barangay Inayawan may be abetted if city residents pitched in their share to combat the problem.

Environmentalist Vince Cinches, the Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said Cebu City households must now strictly adhere to laws on the segregation of garbage.

Cinches suggested that city residents can use their biodegradable waste for urban gardening in order to limit the amount of trash sent to the landfill for disposal.

“At least only those that are nonbiodegradable will be sent to the Inayawan landfill,” Cinches told Cebu Daily News.

Cinches added that Cebu City can also issue a complete ban on the use of plastic to lessen the city’s trash.

“If Mandaue City can do it, then why can’t Cebu City?” Cinches asked.

While Mandaue City has begun to fully enforce its anti-plastic drive daily, Cebu City has its “No Plastic Saturday Ordinance” which bans the use of plastic bags every Saturday.

“Plastics are not just choking our waterways but these are also polluting our oceans,” Cinches said adding that the Inayawan landfill problems may affect the nearby sea.

Meanwhile, a Cebu-based environmental group is calling on the city government to temporarily close the landfill until corrective measures are undertaken to address the stench coming from the dump site which is affecting residents, businessmen and students in the area.

“Let us not compromise the health of the people and business establishments. This can also give negative feedback to our local and international tourists,” Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC) convenor Rudy Alix said.

Last week, MLC members met with Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, chairperson of the city’s committee on environment.

During the meeting, the MLC suggested the purchase of new waste treatment technology to ease the landfill problem.

Alix also hoped that the MLC can sit down with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and city environmental consultant Nida Cabrera to help come up with solutions.

“Let us solve the problem with diplomacy,” Alix said.

Yesterday, Councilor Garganera held his monthly “Basura Run” with his staff along with officials of barangays Tinago and San Roque.

He also introduced to Cebu Daily News the group’s “five pieces habit.”

“Five pieces habit is a movement where runners would pick up five pieces of garbage during and after running. The five pieces group would meet up every first Saturday of the month at Plaza Independencia,” Garganera said.

In yesterday’s run, Garganera’s group wore protective masks as a sign of protest against the continued operation of the Inayawan dumpsite. The councilor is set to file a resolution next week calling for its closure.

Over at the sanitary landfill, residents of surrounding areas continued to question why it was taking a long time for the city to close the controversial 15-hectare dumpsite.

Rosalinda Sanoy, a resident of Barangay Inayawan asked why the city ordered the dumpsite reopened in the first place when it was affecting not just the health of residents but also the livelihood of the business sector.

Sanoy told CDN that the repulsive smell of the dumpsite has taken its toll on her children and grandchildren.

“Sauna wala mana sila nagkasakit… pero sukad nga giablihan na pagbalik ang dumpsite pabalik-balik na gyud na ang hilanat nila. Usahay dili na gyud sila ka-agwanta sa baho magsuka na (When before they did not get sick, since the landfill reopened my their fever keeps coming back. Sometimes when they can no longer bear the stench, they end up vomiting),” she said.

The 15-hectare sanitary landfill was ordered reopened last June after it was closed by former mayor Michael Rama in January 2015 due to “overcapacity.”

For more than a year, the city’s garbage operations shifted to a private landfill in the town of Consolacion, northern Cebu.

“Maabot g’yud ang baho diri ilabi na ug maghabwa na sila. Usahay gud lud-on na ang mga bata mokaon kay dili madala ang kabaho (The stench really reaches here especially when they unload garbage. Sometimes my children can’t get themselves to eat because the stench is so foul), said Sanoy who lives about a hundred meters away from the landfill site.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-7) earlier issued a notice of violation against the City of Cebu this week for 13 violations of EMB standards committed by the city in the operation of its landfill.

Osmeña was advised by EMB-7 director Engr. William Cuñado to explain in writing his failure to comply with terms set in the issuance of the landfill’s Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and present this during a technical conference on September 16 at the EMB office in Banilad, Cebu City.

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TAGS: Cebu, foul smell, garbage, health, Inayawan landfill, Waste, waste disposal

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