Ban curbs Baguio City plastic waste by 30%

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The volume of plastic wastes in the city has been reduced by 30 percent since the imposition of the plastic and styro-free ordinance, an official said Monday.

“The city General Services Office (GSO) attributed the decrease to the implementation of the plastic and styro-free ordinance,” Public Information Office chief Aileen Refuerzo said in a telephone interview.

The city government started the full implementation of the measure in September 2018, over a year after the passage of the ordinance, to give the residents ample time to adjust to a “no plastic life”.

Ordinance 36, series of 2017, or the “Plastic and Styrofoam-Free Baguio City Ordinance” prohibits business establishments from selling single use “sando” bags or plastic containers and or using the same in packaging their products.

It also requires residents and visitors alike to bring their own carry-on bags or containers when buying anything from any establishment.

Refuerzo said GSO head Eugene Buyucan reported that the estimated reduction was based on the observation of the personnel assigned at the waste transfer station at the Dairy Farm for the second half of 2018.

He, however, said the decrease in plastic wastes did not have an effect on the total volume of wastes produced in the city, which remained at 168 tons a day.

Buyucan said this was due to the increased use of other kinds of residual wastes like paper materials for packaging, which were used as replacements for the plastic packaging.

“Nonetheless, this is a welcome development in terms of our aim to reduce our dependence on plastic materials for environmental reasons,” Refuerzo said.

The GSO also reported that the city saved P18 million in 2018 from the reduced cost of hauling and tipping fees for garbage.

This came after the city government decided to transfer the disposal of its garbage to a facility in Urdaneta, Pangasinan from Capaz, Tarlac, allowing it to negotiate for lower cost of tipping fees aside from the lower cost in transportation.

The city government collects trash from the different barangays, which are then brought to the five-hectare temporary transfer station of the Department of Agriculture property at the Dairy Farm in Sto. Tomas. These solid wastes materials are then transferred to bigger trucks and immediately transported to the Urdaneta facility.

Aside from savings, the city also earned P39,000 from its Environment Recycling facility after selling 13,000 kilos or 485 sacks of raw compost.

In 2018, the local government also bought five more dump trucks to facilitate garbage collection in the barangays and maintain the cleanliness of this summer capital. (PNA)

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