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Practical solutions to garbage problems

First Posted 12:14:00 04/29/2009

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Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes is scheduled to go back home to his family residence in barangay Umapad where the city?s landfill is situated to spearhead the institutionalization of a waste segregation system for residents and a more ambitious program of reviving a dead river.

The mayor shouldn?t find it too difficult to set up a working system where residents can divide garbage according to bio-degradable and non-biodegradable wastes. Scavengers can be organized and disciplined not to muck up the segregated garbage just to earn a living.

It?s in reviving the Butuanon River that exits to the Mactan Channel through the Umapad that will require serious work and a lot of political will. Since his term ends next year, it?s highly doubtful that Cortes will achieve much progress toward realizing immediate goals.

Still, the mayor should be lauded for staying in his family residence to set about the eventual closure of the landfill, albeit one that admittedly was in reaction to the weeklong fires in the landfill in barangay Inayawan in Cebu City.

Cortes is negotiating with the local governments of Consolacion and Liloan if Mandaue can dump its garbage in their landfill.

It?s up to the residents and local officials of all LGUs concerned to make sure that they strictly observe and implement a responsible waste management program to make sure that their garbage problems won?t worsen for either one of them.

The same has yet to be said of the Cebu City government, which remains pre-occupied with the status of the South Road Properties deal at home and in Congress to attend to other pressing concerns such as the worsening garbage disposal problem.

Then again, the Mandaue City government isn?t saddled with a confrontation with the Capitol in the first place.

One could only hope that Mandaue City officials aren?t distracted enough by their local politicking in order to fully undertake a working waste management program.

Aside from the Inayawan fires, the significance of a solid waste management program is being pushed by environmental groups that vowed to file a class suit against LGUs that failed to implement the Solid Waste Management Act.

In the case of the Cebu City government, the common and sorry excuse for the poor garbage disposal problem has often been the lack of local funds to finance an alternative landfill site. But as barangay Pahina-San Nicolas has shown, one need not have sizable funds to implement a practical and effective waste management program.

Cortes hopes to achieve that same goal by staying at his family home and mobilizing the stakeholders into involving themselves in the city government?s waste management program. For the sake of Mandaue City residents, one hopes they succeed in doing so.

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