Stop-gap measure

June 22,2016 - 09:58 PM


Last Monday was supposed to be the warm up to reopening the Inayawan landfill site, and while environmental groups and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) may object to it, Cebu City officials aren’t too keen about spending millions of pesos to ship the city’s 300 tons of garbage per day to Consolacion town.

But Cebu City Acting Mayor Margot Osmeña says work has already started to reduce the expected foul odor that will emanate from the re-opened Inayawan landfill that was supposed to be closed over a decade ago but still remained operational until outgoing Mayor Michael Rama ordered its closure last year.

In place of the landfill were the constant trips made by the city’s garbage trucks to and from the private landfill site in Consolacion that used up one whole year’s worth of funds allocated to it by the City Council in only six months.

Rama justified the expenses by saying there should be no landfill site in a progressive city like Cebu City and that by paying others like Consolacion to accommodate the city’s garbage, the city government is actually helping another local government unit and building better ties with its neighbors.

He also unveiled grand plans for the landfill site which he intended to convert into a park and development area.

Rama also promised to tap this facility that will convert plastic materials into fluff that can be sold to construction firms for a profit to the city.

Problem was, there was no support from the opposition-dominated Council, and while Rama can always blame them for being a stumbling block to his development plans, he failed to effectively persuade the public of the soundness of his development agenda even with the resources at his disposal.

Now that the tables have turned and city residents are still faced with the same hostility between their mayor and their council, any development plans by the previous administration have been scrapped and replaced by stop-gap measures by the incoming Osmeña administration.

Though the mayor-elect has outgoing Councilor Nida Cabrera, a noted environmentalist, overseeing plans for redeveloping the Inayawan landfill, it remains to be seen if his administration can maximize the use of the remaining two hectares of the dumpsite without affecting nearby areas like the South Road Properties (SRP).

If they complement it with an aggressive implementation of the waste segregation and recycling program, the city government can probably stave off a garbage disposal crisis that would clog the city’s canals and pollute the city’s streets and rivers.

We can only hope the reopening of the Inayawan landfill site is but a stop-gap measure that will lead to a better long-term solution to the city’s garbage problem.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City, garbage, garbage disposal, solid waste

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