BAGUIO CITY - The city government is mulling privatizing the garbage management system of the city, which last year spent PHP186 million on waste management alone, an official said on Friday.
"We are studying the cost-benefit of privatizing the management of solid waste to reduce the cost of operations in transferring waste to a private sanitary landfill outside the city," Eugene Buyucan, the city's General Service Office (GSO) chief, said in an interview.
The local government currently hauls to a private sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac the non-biodegradable waste collected by the city's waste collectors from the 128 barangays which are segregated at the staging area in Marcos Highway before they are hauled to Tarlac.
Buyucan said city records show the local government spent PHP186 million in 2022 for maintenance and other operating expenditures on solid waste management. The amount includes the hauling and tipping fees as well as fuel costs in collecting and hauling from the source to the final destination in a landfill in Capas.
The record also shows the city generates an average of 402 to 581 tons of garbage last year.
Buyucan said their office is doing measures to cut costs for the management of garbage, including a diversification effort it did in 2022 where 69 percent of collected waste were diverted to the materials recovery facilities to retrieve reusable and recyclable materials.
The official added that they hope that the sanitary landfill in Urdaneta, Pangasinan will soon reopen after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources lifted the suspension following reforms made after it closed in 2018.
The city used to bring its garbage to Urdaneta, which is nearer to the city, thereby cutting the cost of fuel for the trucks used in hauling garbage.
He added that they are also proposing an amendment in the city's garbage ordinance where residents' garbage fees will be based on the volume of garbage produced by households, which could also encourage them to reduce their waste. (PNA)