Cebu City Hits 30% Waste Reduction, Aims for 35% by End of 2013

During the first week of October 2012, IGES went to visit Cebu City as part of a Community-based Solid Waste Management and Composting Project project being co-organised with KITA.  Researchers were able to meet with a variety of stakeholders in Cebu City and see progress being made towards Cebu City’s goal of reducing waste by 35% by 2013.

A New Composting Plant and Expansion of the Old

A new composting plant has been established in Guba, a rural barangay, aiming to receive waste from urban markets.  Unfortunately cooperation between the plant and the local government is not yet mature and regular deliveries are not yet taking place.  The compost plant at Talamban has been expanded so that it can now accept 1 tonne/day of waste as compared to its current rate which is 0.5 tonnes/day.

Public/Private Partnership

A central treatment facility located in Inuyawan was established in September 2012 by a business group led by Ms. Emma Rama, Cebu Business District Outsourcing Center, Inc. with a capacity of 50 tonnes/day.  The facility is divided into two sections: recycling and composting.  The majority of recyclables are plastic with valuable items such as bottles, metal and paper already separated prior to coming to the facility.  Plastic is shredded and sold to junkshops and biodegradable waste is composted using the Takakura Method.  There are currently two full-time workers at the plant and there is good demand for compost from nearby cities.  However the plant has yet to produce its first compost and has had difficulties in receiving adequate waste regularly.

Neighbourhoods Unite to Reduce Waste – 30% Reduction Achieved

According to statistics supplied by Cebu City, 75% of a total of 80 barangays have started waste segregation, composting and material recovery facilities.  This has led to a 30% reduction in the waste as compared to 2010 (470 tonnes/day).  If the city succeeds in operating its central treatment facility at full capacity so that it treats waste from all markets and shopping malls as well as motivating the remaining barangays to join the programme then the target can be achieved by year end 2013 as planned.  However the forthcoming elections may prove to be an obstacle as the election cycle can be disruptive to community projects.

Local Governments Join Together to Reduce Waste

The nearby local governments of Mandaue, Lapu Lapu and Talisay have joined forces with Cebu City to reduce waste in their own cities.  Mandaue City Solid Waste Management Board will start an education programme on composting at science schools, with the first team visiting Cebu City at the end of October to study composting activities at St. Teresas College.  Mactan Marina Mall in Lapu Lapu City will receive technical support from Cebu City to establish a composting plant to treat the waste generated by its shops.