City to form solid waste management board

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

THE City Government of Cagayan de Oro is set to create a solid waste management board (SWMB), a body that will craft policies and action plans for the city's garbage problem, after smoke and fire billowed from its dumpsite Monday.

The fire, caused by a combination of methane gas and heat, was detected by residents in Zayas, Barangay Carmen on Monday evening, but it raged on until Tuesday.

But city fire marshal Shirley Teleron said that although the fire is under control, they are requesting the City Government to send in bulldozers to help isolate the burning areas to prevent it from spreading throughout the dumpsite.


Confine the flame

“Kining atong response diri pang-control lang sa kalayo kay methane gas man ‘ni, di ‘ni siya mapalong,” Teleron told Sun.Star Tuesday afternoon.

What the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) did was only to confine the flame, she said.

She said the smoke coming from the fire is probably toxic since it came from the burning garbage.

On Tuesday, the BFP deployed four fire trucks, including the newly acquired Austrian-made Rosenbauer fire engine.

Teleron said when one of the responding BFP fire trucks went to the city sanitary landfill Monday night, its tires got stuck in the mound of waste.

She said they did not deploy all their fire trucks to the dumpsite but assigned one unit as a standby fire engine.

“We will not focus all our fire trucks in the area, we will just place one here in case there are other fires in other areas,” she added.

She the fire at the dumpsite is a recurring incident.

“Pirme naman ‘ni siya, sa una ra,” Teleron said.

She said the BFP fire trucks had already sprayed the burning garbage with more than 10,000 liters of water.

Rosenbauer and the supertanker each carry 4,000 liters of water.

Meanwhile, Maricel Rivera, city information officer, said Mayor Oscar Moreno is considering on inviting Fr. Roberto Yap, SJ, president of Xavier University, to head the SWMB.

Rivera said the assistance of the city government to the fire incident at the sanitary landfill was only temporary.

What Moreno had in mind, she said, is the creation of the SWMB so long-term plans could be crafted regarding the handling of the city’s garbage.

She said the SWMB will be tasked to find ways to properly manage the dumpsite and make necessary recommendations to the mayor like addressing the garbage problem or if there is a need to transfer the dumpsite to a new location.

At present, Rivera said, only nine hectares of the landfill’s total land area of 17 hectares are utilized.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 02, 2014.

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