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Baguio garbage woes linked to bad roads

09:29 PM September 30, 2011

BAGUIO CITY—Poorly managed repairs of national roads here have not only caused traffic flow  to slow down to a crawl.

Bad roads have also disrupted garbage collection, which Baguio has tried to improve since its decommissioned dump collapsed last month, killing six people, at the height of Typhoon “Mina.”

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On Wednesday, barangay officials complained that the city government had failed to collect that day’s garbage from 128 villages in the city.

Health officials said leaving garbage decaying on the streets while Tropical Storm “Quiel” approaches the country could trigger a health crisis here.

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The Office of Civil Defense in the Cordillera said Typhoon “Pedring” dumped up to 25 millimeters of rainfall per hour on the city from Tuesday to Wednesday. This was the same period when uncollected trash had been left on village sidewalks.

Cordelia Lacsamana, city environment officer, said Baguio’s nonbiodegradable waste was again being hauled to a sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac, but the typhoon and road construction in several areas on the way to Tarlac had stretched hauling time by as much as nine hours every day.

This has delayed the rotation of 16 trucks being used to collect garbage from the city’s villages, she said.

Lacsamana said operations were also hampered by uncollected plastics that could fit in 200 trucks.

A private company, Protech Machinery Inc., is tasked with hauling wastes to its materials recovery facility in Rosales, Pangasinan. Protech supplied Baguio’s solid waste composting facilities and had included the acquisition of Baguio’s plastic wastes in its contract because it would convert the refuse into plastic pellets for export to China.

On Friday, Protech trucks resumed hauling plastics from the Baguio dump in Barangay Irisan.

Lacsamana said the city government uses the Baguio dump as a temporary holding area before the trash is sent to Capas, some 100 km from the summer capital.

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Protech’s delays had forced the city’s solid waste management team to haul Baguio’s daily nonbiodegradable trash to a lime kiln on Naguilian Road to await the return of trucks from Capas, she said.

Some village officials are angry about the uncollected garbage. Some said it could be the result of a “no segregation, no collection” policy reimposed after the Aug. 27 trash slide.

“Some village leaders segregate wastes themselves so the garbage trucks return for the garbage. We don’t really leave trash on the streets for long,” Lacsamana said. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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