Thursday, June 21, 2012

La Trinidad’s Garbage woes

This is a concerned citizen’s reply on the inquiry raised by Mr. Atsou Nashitama of Kanagawa, Japan regarding the ‘garbage decomposer machine’ or that ‘black-hole’ machine bought by La Trinidad, Benguet through its municipal officials. I personally wrote this because there was no reply from any official or gov't representative regarding the machine ever since the inquiry was brought up by Mr. Nashitama weeks ago.

The operation of the machine is below our expectation. It does NOT decompose 30 cubic meters of garbage in a day (or the claim of even 10 tons of garbage) but only about 1 or 2, perhaps even less. It is NOT effective and efficient, it is NOT revolutionary. Mr. Nashitama must personally come to the site to see it for himself. It requires a horde of workers to manually transfer the garbage from the truck to the machine and guess what; the end-products are not decomposed wastes nor garbage which were turned into ashes, but were only compressed wastes covered with a slimy fluid (which almost look like dark and muddy matters). It was a waste of money. I don’t know what our officials saw in their visit to Japan (if it was the same machine), but it was clearly not what it was expected of the machine.

The garbage woes will only get louder because it seems that there is no political will on the part of officials to effectively implement related laws, coupled with the ignorance and the non-compliance of its citizens to  waste ordinances (awan disiplina tayo!). Waste segregation can be observed, however, the problem on where to dump biodegradable wastes, especially in urbanized areas, is still a dilemma – commercial centers including boarding houses or apartments, have yet to find a site where they can decompose their biodegradable-wastes. This results to those biodegradable garbage left on the streets, or worse; the willful disregard of citizens in managing their wastes because of the local government’s perceived ineffectivity. The barangays, just the same, have to be firm in solving this humongous task.

La Trinidad, even though not a city, faces the same problem which urbanized towns face – garbage, among others. We must admit that Alno dumpsite will not stay there for long, and soon, other barangays will refuse to let their place become a dumping site. Thus, La Trinidad should also plan for this future problem, perhaps invest on the idea of ‘land-banking’ – buy isolated lands of nearby towns for future use, unless we want to pay millions just to dump our garbage in Tarlac like Baguio City. Perhaps, officials can also be more imaginative; what is the use of millions of pesos which are being spent in “Lakbay-aral” activities, when none of them can adopt or replicate an idea from the places where they visit? Palawan’s waste-free culture, or even Bantayan, Cebu’s “garbage to bricks” technology?

To my delight, a councilor has recently proposed an ordinance which seeks to manage and regulate the use of plastic bags. We support this move, but we also expect that it will be implemented – not just another ‘sleeping ordinance’. Anyway, this is also to remind every people in La Trinidad, including myself, to do our part – reduce our consumerist tendencies, manage our wastes, educate others, and support ordinances that will benefit us and our community. This problem can be solved when both government and its people will actually fulfill their own responsibilities to the community.

* All of the readers comments (Almost 200) for this post are now hidden due to emotional and misinformed readers who found their ways in sending me threats in my Facebook account. Although it was only part of my intention to stir the issue so it will merit attention, I never imagined that it will bring out hideous, albeit separate issues of 'politicos' from different sides. Before I be accused of favoring political candidates, or that I am using my blog for any propaganda, I decided to hide the readers' comments. My apologies to the followers of the thread.