OCENR: Proper waste disposal is everybody’s responsibility

The Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) headed by Engr. Rey Gonzales is once again calling on the residents of Zamboanga City to instill discipline and cooperation in disposing of their wastes, stressing that “it is everybody’s shared responsibility.”

Gerry Polisco, head of OCENR’s Solid Waste Management Division, lamented during a radio interview that one of the challenges in the city’s solid waste management program is the lackluster cooperation of most garbage generators, the public in general, in the compliance to the schedule of waste collection.

He said the city government is adopting the shared garbage collection responsibility between the LGU through OCENR, taking charge of garbage collection on roads within the seven-kilometer radius, and the barangays, being responsible for garbage collection from inner streets.

Under the ordinance, people are mandated to bring out their garbage at least 15 minutes before 8 o’clock in the morning on schedule.

“Unfortunately, in reality this is not seriously followed, resulting in uncollected garbage on the streets,” Polisco said.

With regard to waste segregation mandate, Polisco said latest study had suggested that Zamboanga City produces 58% non-biodegradable waste, which indicates that majority of the households are practicing waste segregation.

Aside from the waste segregation from the source, collected garbage will have to pass through the city’s materials recovery facilities, one of which is at the entrance to the sanitary landfill system in Barangay Salaan, about 12 kilometers away from the city proper. “Only the residual waste from the MRF will go to the landfill system. In way, we are still practicing the waste segregation as mandated by law,” Polisco said, adding that what the public should do is to cooperate by strictly observing the schedule of garbage collection in their respective barangays.-(Vic Larato)