PUNISH TRASH VIOLATORS
Cebu City ends leniency on those who fail to segregate
Mounds of stinking garbage are reported in many Cebu City barangays, and when the rain pours, rivers of floodwater rise in the metropolis, at times carrying the stench of uncollected garbage that snakes its way through open canals.
Appearing to have had enough of the complaints and following days of leniency, the Cebu City government has started to impose penalties against those caught dumping their garbage without segregation.
Later this month, Cebu City residents will also be expected to abide by the city’s new collection schedule which limits the collection of garbage from 5 p.m. to 7 o’clock the next morning.
In a nutshell, the rule is to segregate or get citation tickets and to throw your garbage at the proper time or be penalized in order to finally rid the city of the unsightliness of garbage.
“Once and for all, we can set guidelines. Right now, people think that garbage collection is 24 hours. They think they are allowed to dump their garbage on streets anytime,” Department of Public Services (DPS) assistant head John Paul Gelasque told reporters yesterday as he announced the new collection schedule to be implemented soon.
Gelasque said that come October 16, Sunday, wastes will no longer be collected at daytime so as not to impede traffic with garbage trucks parked along the streets.
The new schedule is also aimed to prevent residents from dumping their trash by the road, expecting passing garbage trucks to collect them.
According to Cebu City environmental consultant Nida Cabrera, citation tickets are now being issued by Barangay Environment Officers (BEOs) against those who dispose of unsegregated garbage and hazardous or special wastes, ending days of consideration.
“We have been apprehending violators. We range between 10 to 15 apprehensions in a day,” Cebu City environmental consultant Nida Cabrera told Cebu Daily News.
Those who dispose of their garbage outside the scheduled day and time of collection will also be cited for violation of city ordinances along with those mixing wastes that have already been segregated.
The citation tickets are based on City Ordinance No. 2031 or the segregation at source ordinance and City Ordinance No. 1361 or the anti-littering ordinance.
First-time violators are given seven days to pay a compromise fee of P500 to City Hall or undertake community service while habitual offenders will be penalized with a fine ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 or imprisonment between one to six months or both upon the discretion of the court.
The city began to strictly enforce the ordinances last September 28, and within a week, Cebu City residents have started to follow the policies, said Cabrera.
“By next week, we will be going after the garbage collectors and issue them citation tickets if they bring unsegregated waste into the Inayawan landfill,” warned Cabrera.
The Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO) recorded at least 25 violators of the segregation and anti-littering ordinances beginning last week.
But CCENRO Executive Assistant Lito Vasquez said that the number could be higher as some BEOs may yet have to turn over their copies of citation tickets issued in their respective barangays.
Of the number of violators, at least three already paid the compromise fee of P500 to the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO).
Last September 20, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña issued a memorandum to all barangays ordering the strict enforcement of the no segregation, no collection policy of solid wastes.
Based on the memo, collection of biodegradable and organic wastes are to be done every Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; while non-biodegradable, recyclable and residual wastes like diapers, rags and sanitary napkins are to be collected on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
For residual wastes, garbage collectors are instructed to prepare separate receptacles for the two types of wastes.
New collection schedule
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Services (DPS) announced that the new garbage collection schedule beginning October 16 will be between 5 p.m. to 7a.m. on two collection shifts.
The days of collection will remain the same, according to assistant DPS head Gelasque, further explaining that the schedule will already be from 5 p.m. to 12 midnight and from 12 midnight until 7 a.m.
“Starting 7 a.m. to 5p.m., we will focus on enforcement. This means, those who will be throwing their garbage during the day (outside the scheduled time) will be issued with citation tickets and will be apprehended,” Gelasque said.
At present, the DPS has three collection shifts which start at 4 a.m. to 12 noon followed by another schedule at 5 p.m. to 12 midnight.
To ensure that no uncollected garbage are left littering the streets, a DPS task force also collects trash from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The DPS has 23 working six-wheeler dump trucks, ten 10-wheeler trucks and six compactor trucks used to collect garbage daily, aside from barangay garbage trucks assigned to collect garbage in the interior portions of the villages outside the city’s main thoroughfares.
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