Garbage floats off Cebu City pier 3

THE Cebu City Department of Public Services (DPS) has directed its garbage collection division to clean the garbage patch in the waters off Pier 3.

DPS officer in charge John Jigo Dacua, a lawyer, said his personnel need a backhoe to collect all the trash.

As the DPS has no backhoe, Dacua said his office will borrow the heavy equipment from the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The DPS announced its move following a video posted by a netizen on Facebook Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, showing the garbage patch in the area.

The social media user captioned his video: “Calling the attention of (the) Cebu City Government.”

“Wala lang pansina mao gatapok na na diha tanan (They neglected the garbage. That’s why it gathered in that area),” the netizen said in the video.

Problem

Solid waste management is a huge problem in highly urbanized areas, including Cebu City.

The World Bank said in a report posted on its website that “managing waste properly is essential for building sustainable and livable cities, but it remains a challenge for many developing countries and cities.”

“Effective waste management is expensive, often comprising 20 percent–50 percent of municipal budgets. Operating this essential municipal service requires integrated systems that are efficient, sustainable and socially supported,” it said in the September 2019 report.

In 2019, the Cebu City Government opened a bidding for 21 garbage compactor trucks. The contract it had laid out amounted to P232.5 million.

The World Bank said waste generation rates are rising around the world.

“In 2016, the world’s cities generated 2.01 billion tonnes of solid waste, amounting to a footprint of 0.74 kilograms per person per day. With rapid population growth and urbanization, annual waste generation is expected to increase by 70 percent from 2016 levels to 3.40 billion tons in 2050,” it reported.

It further said: “Compared to those in developed nations, residents in developing countries, especially the urban poor, are more severely impacted by unsustainably managed waste. In low-income countries, over 90 percent of waste is often disposed in unregulated dumps or openly burned. These practices create serious health, safety, and environmental consequences. Poorly managed waste serves as a breeding ground for disease vectors, contributes to global climate change through methane generation, and can even promote urban violence.”

The World Bank “finances and advises on solid waste management projects using a diverse suite of products and services, including traditional loans, results-based financing, development policy financing, and technical advisory.” (USJ-R Journalism Intern Mae Fhel Gom-os )