Garbage pile swells during holidays

Heaps of discarded waste piled up during holidays in Iloilo City. (Photo Courtesy of Engr. Neil Ravena)

By Mariela Angella Oladive

Iloilo City’s waste management authorities reported a significant bump in the volume of collected garbage in the city, especially in the Central Business District and Downtown City proper.

According to Engr. Neil Ravena, head of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), they initially anticipated 30- to 40-ton increase in garbage collection, but the figure “unexpectedly surged to approximately 50 tons.

CENRO manages the city’s sanitary landfill in Mandurriao.

In our monitoring from December 18 to December 25 of our weighbridge, we collected 425 tons. Before, it was only 370 tons, so more or less the increase was 40 to 50 tons,” Engr. Ravena said.

So far, CENRO has collected 2,000 tons of garbage or around 2.9 million kilograms of garbage in the city.

Ravena cited several factors, including the influx of sidewalk vendors in the downtown area.

With an open market attracting a larger population, waste from the City Proper is expected to increase as well.

Ravena noted the impact of cultural practices, such as the tradition of consuming 13 fruits during the New Year, which has led to a noticeable increase in waste, particularly in the form of packaging materials, fruit remnants, and organic waste.

In response to this surge, authorities are implementing segregation initiatives to effectively manage the diverse types of waste.

Plastic waste is being separated and collected for recycling, while organic waste, including fruit peels and coconut husks, is earmarked for composting processes in the local sanitary landfill.

The Central Business District is being targeted for waste diversion strategies.

“Ang central business district usually ginapaagi ta gid sa aton Material Recovery Facility (MRF) kay more or less damo sang recyclable materials nga ara dira so damo pa aton mapuslan,” Ravena said

Additionally, efforts are underway to segregate organic waste from markets, further supporting composting initiatives.

Ravena emphasized the importance of waste diversion and highlighted ongoing efforts to separate, recycle, and compost waste as part of a comprehensive strategy to address the escalating volume of garbage in the city.