BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong urged residents and business owners in the city to adopt their own backyard composting methods and technologies to lessen the city’s biodegradable waste production.
The mayor said it is high time to instil the practice of composting their biodegradable wastes among residents to help effectively and efficiently address the solid waste management problem of the city.
He said the city has been doing its best to maximize the operation of the Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines stationed at the former dumpsite at Irisan to process the compostable wastes but residents and businessmen should also do their part in easing the city’s waste burden.
The city produces 40-50 tons of biodegradable wastes per day and only 75 percent of these are being processed by the ERS.
In a meeting with the department heads last Aug. 7, the mayor urged departments concerned to prepare business owners along Session Road for the new composting requirement which the city will impose soon.
“Every business especially restaurants should have their own composting facility,” the mayor said as he tasked the General Services Office to disseminate information on simple composting methods that can be employed by the businessmen.
In a press briefing Aug. 2, the mayor said the practice of composting of biodegradable wastes in the homes of residents is important because it will help in reducing the volume of biodegradable wastes being brought by people to the collection points in the city’s barangays that will be hauled by the garbage collectors.
The local chief executive admitted that he also practices composting in his residence and the two drums he uses in composting the biodegradable waste being generated in their house are not even filled up in a month or two.
According to him, residents should erase the impression that composting is unsanitary because the same is not true based on his actual experience.
Moreso, it does not need much space contrary to what others believe.
GSO Officer Eugene Buyucan said that apart from waste segregation, home and backyard composting is the obligation of residents under the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 to help the concerned government agencies and local governments address the garbage disposal concerns in their areas of jurisdiction.
He urged residents to practice composting as well as urban gardening in their homes because it is also one strategy that is vital in helping reduce the volume of both biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes and is also beneficial for the homes.
He said a simple composting method would only require any container, big or medium-sized and can be plastic, wood or cement where biodegradable wastes can be stored.
Just cover the refuse with small amount of soil for drying and repeat the process. They compost can be used in one to two months for their backyard garden.
Other methods such as the use of African night crawlers can also be employed.
Buyucan said they will coordinate with the Dept. of Agriculture and Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources for the conduct of technical trainings on composting among residents.
Aside from collecting some 40 to 50 tons of biodegradable waste from the different collection points in the city’s barangays, the local government is also collecting some 170 to 180 tons of non-biodegradable waste from the collection points in the barangays daily.
At present, the local government is hauling the generated residual waste out of the city with the sanitary landfill of Urdaneta City, Pangsinan as the recipient of the garbage being brought to the facility.
However, the city general services officer claimed that the volume of garbage being generated in the city significantly increases during peak tourism months when there is a huge influx of visitors wanting to spend a well-deserved break in the country’s undisputed Summer Capital which has its natural air conditioning being preferred by people from the lowlands as a tourism destination./Aileen P. Refuerzo and Dexter A. See