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BAGUIO, Philippines – Baguio’s anti-plastic ordinance, which was fully implemented in late 2018, has already had a tremendous impact, the City General Services Office (GSO) reported.
According to GSO chief Eugene Buyucan, the volume of plastic in the city’s waste went down by a third.
Buyucan in his report said that the estimate was based on the observations of his personnel monitoring the garbage flow at the waste transfer station at the Baguio Dairy Farm.
He attributed the reduction to the implementation of The Plastic and Styrofoam-Free Ordinance of 2017, which covers all business activities and establishments, particularly in the government schools and offices.
The ordinance is one of the strictest of its kind in the country.
Buyucan, however, said that the decrease in plastic wastes did not have an effect on the total volume of wastes produced in the city which remains at 168 tons a day.
He said that this was due to the increased use of other kinds of residual refuse, like paper materials, which had been used as replacement for the plastic kind.
“This is a welcome development in terms of our aim to reduce our dependence on plastic materials for environmental reasons,” Buyucan said.
Environmentalists also criticized the non-implementation of the local ordinance by the fast food franchises, which exploded in number all over the city. These franchises were supposed to have private contractors to dispose their trash properly, but many, especially those in Session Road, dump their trash along the road as they wait for the garbage trucks to gather them.
The weekend invasion of local tourists also exacerbate the garbage problem.
Buyucan also said that they saved on hauling and tipping fees of garbage amounting to P18 million after successfully negotiating for lower costs with the waste disposal facility in Urdaneta, Pangasinan.
The city also established a temporary transfer station after Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol allowed the city to utilize 5 hectares of the 92-hectare property of the Department of Agriculture at the Dairy Farm, which is now being improved and later planned to be ceded to the city government.
The office also sold 13,000 kilos or 485 sacks of raw compost from the Environmental Recycling System machines, realizing an income of P39,000.
“We have acquired 5 brand new dump trucks and one water truck to augment the garbage collection fleet of the city,” Buyucan added.
The office also reported accomplishments in the areas of procurement management services anchored on the now-full utilization of the Electronic Procurement System, which sped up the processing time of purchase requests, the asset and inventory management services and the records and archives management services. – Rappler.com