Discipline is behind Samal Island’s odor-free garbage PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 August 2018 12:23

By Dominic Sanchez

In the Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte, the sanitary landfill does not smell.

Moreover, the garbage is even worth a lot of money.

How do they do it?

Renato Latras, a City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) foreman, attributes this all to discipline.

“People in Samal Island are very disciplined.  We religiously segregate our garbage in our homes, offices, everywhere.  The local government in turn strictly enforces the “no segregation, no collection” policy,”  Latras explained.

Biodegradables are separated from non-biodegradables by residents.  Recyclable plasticware are collected by the garbage trucks and then brought to the landfill, which actually forms part of a waste water treatment facility.

“People from nearby communities can get sick if their water becomes contaminated by the landfill.  This is why we made sure to install a pipe beneath the landfill that directs the wastewater to a treatment facility,” Latras pointed out.

Latras said that foul smell from garbage is created when liquids mix with biodegradable materials.

This is why it is very important to maintain waste segregation, and the residents are well-educated about this, Letras aaid.

The local government has not been concerned about going after litterbugs and violators because the people practice waste management by heart.

The government instead focuses on more profitable innovations.

Samal City seems to have thought it all out.

Another good thing here is exploring profitable opportunities.

A private company has expressed interest in recycling Samal Island’s plastic waste into plastic products.

The recycling industry is expected to be worth USD40-billion or over P2-trillion by the year 2020 in the global market.

Recently, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) brought local environmental and barangay officials from Zamboanga City to Samal Island to study practices in solid waste management and water qualify management, in the hope of replicating these practices locally.

Zamboanga City now has a population of over 861,000 based on 2016 data and local officials have shown concern over the increase in the volume of waste.

For now, the city government has been enforcing the solid waste management ordinance, conducting massive clean-up drives and apprehending “litterbugs” occasionally while implementing information and education campaigns in the communities.  (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)