By RUFFY MAGBANUA
CAGAYAN DE ORO’s New Year revelry albeit threat of bad weather was generally pleasant and peaceful, but not without piles of garbage left on the streets waiting to be swept away and hauled to the city’s ‘brand new’ dumpsite.
The Crusade for Clean Government, a volunteer watchdog on good governance had slammed the ugly sight and stench of mixed ‘holitrash’ (short for holiday trash) left on the city’s streets, public markets and residential areas.
Worse, the ugly sight and stench of uncollected garbage left for several days on city streets had attracted more trash, like flies to honey.
Cagayan de Oro, like all other cities, greeted the New Year with loads of trash like firecracker remnants, disposable food containers, plastic, and food leftovers.
For a city which had its solid waste program implemented only a year ago, putting out all its garbage in place remains a serious concern. And how serious it is, perhaps City Hall has the ready answer.
Noticeably, public waste disposals are filling up faster, catching up with the city’s unprecedented growth more than ever.
Inevitably, many of the city’s trash bins end up overflowing before a collection truck comes over, causing not only cluttered streets and bad odors but also negative health and environmental impacts.
Added to this trash dilemma, the careless attitude of city residents towards maintaining cleanliness have caused alarming results.
Sadly, overflowing waste containers are a great nuisance and a risk to our health and environment. The need therefore to increase the efficiency of waste collection is an urgent matter City Hall has to act on swiftly and with political will.
Study shows that overflowing waste disposals are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, insects and vermin.
The flies that visit the city’s uncollected garbage are also the same flies that roam around in our lunch buffet and drop their offsprings – factors that causes typhoid fever, food poisoning, enteric fever, gastroenteritis, and other major illnesses.
Besides flies, other animals that thrive from the garbage in and around the containers include rats, cockroaches and all stray animals and insects.
Further, one of the outcomes of overflowing garbage is air pollution, which causes various respiratory diseases and other adverse health effects as contaminants are absorbed from lungs into other parts of the body.
The toxic substances in air contaminated by waste include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. In everyday life, we identify the polluted air especially through bad odors, which are usually caused by decomposing and liquid waste items.
Garbage and liquid waste that end up in water bodies negatively change the chemical composition of the water.
It affects all ecosystems existing in the water, including fish and other animals that drink the polluted water. Hazardous household waste items such as batteries, computer equipment and leftover paints can be particularly dangerous for surface waters.
Besides causing all sorts of health and environmental issues, overflowing garbage is a public nuisance and eyesore.
Like all our elected officials now occupying the City Hall, everyone wants to live in this City of Golden Friendship fresh, clean and healthy.
A smelly city with poor sanitation and trash all over the place does not attract people or tourists, let alone investments. ([email protected])
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