Editorial: Sinulog trash heap

THE Department of Public Services (DPS) estimated a garbage haul of 131 metric tons after the Sinulog grand parade this year. In 2019, the city spawned a whopping 210 metric tons of trash on parade day. The DPS thinks the drop may be because this year’s crowd was way smaller than last year’s—3.5 million in 2019 and less than two million this year.

Going further back, post-Sinulog garbage heap was 219 tons in 2018, 161 in 2017 and 110 in 2016. The hundreds of street sweepers after every grand parade know the extent of work that needed to be done to clear the roads for the next day’s mill. No small thanks to them; the cleanups have always been prompt and efficient all these years.

However, we would like to point out an interesting 2019 practice that could have been worth repeating. The Environmental Management Bureau and the Cebu City Government, through the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO), set up 50 eco-stations along the carousel route. January happens to be, through Proclamation 760, the National Zero Waste Month, a consciousness that was hardly felt in the recent Sinulog. It was pretty much brought to consciousness in 2019. But, yes, the drop in the number of revelers last Sunday spared our cleaners the trash tonnage similar to last year’s.

Although, while this is true, a number of netizens have been quick to point out the monstrosity of trash that rose in many parts of the city after the grand parade—all in the wrong places and in their most sordid volume.

So maybe here’s a thing. Via a simple policy, why not cut garbage turnout right before they even spill into the streets? A quick observation on the trash types that dominate the heap will make you see that plastic bottles are a sure winner. The modest solution, perhaps, would be to ban, on grand parade day, water bottles at 500 ml and lower. People will have at least a liter of stock water to bring around for a bit longer.

Government has been firm in implementing even the most unpopular security measures such as the signal shutdown. It can, perhaps, try the same tack when it deals with waste management during the Sinulog festivities. Ban the use of certain stuff that haul the biggest volume of trash at the end of the day.