A TOTAL of 163.15 tons of garbage were collected during the six-hour river and coastal cleanup drive the Cebu City Government conducted on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.
The activity started at 7 a.m. and ended at 1 p.m. as part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), which the country celebrates every third Saturday of September.
Eddie Llamedo, chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 Planning and Management Division, said most of the garbage they collected at the waterways of Lahug, Guadalupe, Bulacao and Kinalumsan; Tejero and Mahiga Creeks; coastal areas of Barangay Mambaling; and the South Road Properties (SRP) were composed of tin cans, glass, diapers, tires, plastic bottles, fabric or cloth and sachets.
The garbage was disposed of at the Inayawan Transfer Station and the Binaliw Sanitary Landfill.
Llamedo said the amount of garbage they collected was considered huge since the city experienced a heavy downpour between Sept. 15 and Sept. 17.
“Yes, this is huge in volume considering that for the past three days we have experienced heavy rainfall where these wastes were carried down from the upstream portion of these rivers,” said Llamedo.
However, the environmental official said there is a need to further educate residents, especially those living along riverbanks, on proper waste disposal.
He urged households to practice garbage segregation and not throw garbage directly into the rivers, canals or creeks.
“We are strongly urging our households to always practice segregation at source,” Llamedo said.
Llamedo also reminded residents that DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu had emphasized the need for the proper disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as single-use face masks and gloves, as these can threaten marine life and the ecosystem.
Participants of the activity included employees of the City Government, DENR 7 and some barangays.
Cebu City was not the only local government unit in Cebu to participate in the ICC 2020.
The Municipality of Carmen collected 25 kilos of garbage from the Luyang River, while Toledo City collected 49 kilos of garbage from the coastal area of Barangay Matab-ang.
In Panglao, Bohol, 1.8 tons of garbage were collected in nine barangays.
In Negros Oriental, 63 kilos of garbage were collected at Apo Island.
In Siquijor, 40 kilos of garbage were collected from the coastal area of Barangay Dumanjug.
The theme for the ICC 2020 is “Safe Oceans Start at Home.”
ICC is the world’s largest volunteer effort to clean up the marine environment. (JJL)