Holiday season yields more trash

City Hall employees clean up the downtown area after New Year’s Day. (Photo from Iloilo City Government General Services Office)

By John Noel E. Herrera

The Iloilo City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) said the recent holiday season yielded more trash on a daily basis.

CENRO head Engr. Neil Ravena said that from Dec 17 to 25, 2022, they were able to collect an average of 452 tons of waste per day. This is an increase of around 100 tons from the normal waste collection average of 350 to 360 tons daily.

Ravena said the spike in trash volume could be due to successive parties around the city.

“In that week alone nag increase gid ta mga 100 tons per day. Siguro ini tungod man sang wala-tuo nga Christmas parties kay ti for two years wala ta pa abi ka-celebrate sang Christmas parties kag ang mga commercial establishments ta daw nag-damo gid man ang mga tao,” he explained.

Data from CENRO also indicated that it collected around 26 tons of garbage from the downtown area on Jan 1, 2023, which was quite lower compared to its target collection of 30 to 40 tons on the said date.

“Based sa aton (data) nasa 26 tons ang nakuha namon sa area, sa downtown area lang, and wala ta pa masummarize ang sa whole district of Iloilo kay ang other districts sa gab-i pa maclose, like ang Jaro district, sa gab-i ang schedule for garbage collection, so ipatotal ta pa na,” Ravena said.

“Based on our observation, ang firecracker debris, daw medyo hindi amu na kadamo, amu man na guro isa ka factor ngaa wala ma-abot ang 30 to 40 tons kay di amu na kadamo nga firecracker debris nakuha naton,” he added.

Ravena said that they deployed street sweepers in the downtown area on New Year’s Day to clean up the streets as it was one of the areas occupied by sidewalk vendors.

“Kahapon (Jan 1, 2023) as early as 4:00 a.m. naglibot na kita and ang aton mga sweeper, ilabi na gid sa downtown area gin schedule ta na nga mag-clear sang bilog nga area sa city downtown area, ilabi na gid sa central business district wherein dira na composition ang mga sidewalk vendor,” Ravena said.

“Ang city nag-augment man sang apat ka truck para nga i-clear and maubos na gid ang basura kag hindi na magtipon sa dalan, ilabi na sa terminal market para malimpyo na,” he added.

Ravena also said that most of the waste collected in the downtown area was made of plastic materials, like fruit packaging, gift wrappers, and other disposable materials used by fast food restaurants.

“Ang sa downtown area naton, mostly packaging materials ang nakwa, composed of plastics, suludlan sang prutas kag mga usual naton gina-bakal sa sidewalks. Ang mga bamboos nga gingamit for kiosks, naka-separate man,” he said.

He also noted that organic materials like fruits and vegetables collected from the Iloilo Terminal Market would be processed for composting and would be utilized as fertilizers for plants in different public plazas and esplanades.

Meanwhile, Ravena also said that they have already started planning its waste management plan for the upcoming Dinagyang Festival.

He added that they might create two specific teams which will be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness in the downtown and diversion areas, where the main events for the festival will be held.

“Yes, may mga solid waste management plan na kita for Dinagyang, naka-meeting na kita and may preliminary plans na kita nga gin-latag para sa Dinagyang. Naglatag kita two teams to ensure nga ang areas matatap sa Diversion area, and at the same time sa Downtown area to maintain the cleanliness of our streets for the upcoming Dinagyang Festival,” he said.