March 3, 2024

Tons of garbage in at least five barangays have not been collected on Wednesday after volunteer waste pickers did not join in the collection schedule that day following the closure of seven junkshops at Barangay Irisan.
Manpower from the General Services Office is not enough to load all of the garbage collected in the barangays, said GSO head Eugene Buyucan.
GSO has around 60 waste pickers deployed on three shifts per day complemented by at least five volunteer waste pickers for each of the city’s 15 trucks.
The junkshops is where recyclable items collected from the barangays are brought. Buyucan said without the junkshops, waste pickers have nowhere to sell the items they have recovered, hence their decision not to join in garbage collection last Wednesday.
The Permits and Licensing Division this week issued a cease and desist order to the owners of seven junkshops at Irisan citing their unsanitary operation.
Buyucan said the issuance of the CDO is part of the plans to transfer the junkshops to the waste transfer station at Marcos Highway.
The halt in junkshops operations resulted in the non-collection of garbage in barangays Pucsusan, Scout Barrio, Upper and Lower Dagsian, Quezon Hill, and in some parts of Alfonso Tabora.
Garbage collection resumed Thursday, but Buyucan admitted he has yet to receive positive feedback from the junkshop operators.
In the meantime, the junkshop operators complied with the orders of the PLD and have started cleaning and sanitizing their area.
Concerned departments of the city government have also been mobilized to address the issue.
Since December 2019, the City Engineer’s Office has prepared an area where the junkshop operators may receive recyclables and the City Social Welfare Office has been tasked to assist waste pickers who might be displaced in case the junkshop operators decline to operate at the transfer station.
“I am pretty sure this will be fixed. This is just part of the transition (of transfer from Irisan to Marcos Highway),” Buyuccan said.
Meanwhile, Buyucan said that beginning this month, the GSO will position 10 waste bins along Session Road. “We will test the public’s discipline. The waste bins will be for litter only. If we see that these bins will again be used for bulk garbage, we will take them out.”
The city government has previously removed waste bins distributed around the central business district as its way of instilling discipline on proper garbage disposal. – Rimaliza A. Opiña