The need to privatize garbage collection
Most cities have transferred the responsibility of garbage collection to the private sector. It has been observed that most efficient and economical garbage collection services come from the private entities as long as the terms of reference in the Contract are well thought of and clear.
In the city of Tacloban, garbage collection used to be done by a private contractor but public clamor due to inefficiency made the chief executive decide to take over the task. Since 2009, garbage collection was done by city paid garbage collectors, which at the start were quite better off than when it was done by a contractor. As time passed by the services of the city garbage collection team became inefficient which necessitates the city government officials to look into the matter again.
It will be recalled that many constituents have been complaining a lot about the worsening garbage situation in the city. Even this writer has treated the topic on this column many times. But it seems people just take for granted the need for everyone to join hands and hearts in committing to solve the problem. Environmental sanitation is a personal thing. It comes with the upbringing and values of the person. Awareness on the need to commit and help preserve the environment is a value that grew with the individual. It is part of the character molding of the person. In it, the influence of the home, the school and the community crisscross.
As early as one year old when the child starts playing, the parents start teaching the child to keep toys away after use. This gives the child an idea on orderliness. The child is further taught to put all trash and garbage on trash bins, and not to scatter them or throw them away anywhere. In school, teachers are actively disciplining pupils never to throw garbage anywhere and if there are no trash cans around, to pocket wrappers and trash, disposing them later.
It is observable how communities differ in their treatment of sanitation and hygiene. In most human colonies where the residents are usually in the middle to upper middle strata in society and where most residents are government workers, families use garbage bags to dispose their trash and dirt. In most communities where there are informal settlers and scavenging is a usual activity among residents, garbage disposal is a common problem. Garbage is usually thrown in heaps along streets and left to rot causing foul smell.
Worse, scavengers scatter them all around becoming eyesores to visitors and people who pass by the place regularly.
While the government is tasked to do something about the problem, the individual households and communities have more to answer for. The local government can only do much. It is the village councils that must strictly enforce the law and ordinances.
As most rising cities have this problem, solutions are sought to take care of the seeming increase in garbage. Whether or not, garbage is a challenge brought about by development, it is a problem that needs immediate solutions as it affects the health of the people and other environmental concerns.
The city of Tacloban has contemplated transferring garbage collection to private entity. The move is seen as a better option as most cities are practicing it already. The contractor would be paid depending on the weight of the garbage harvested per month. In the previous years, the payment was done monthly regardless of the times the garbage in villages and colonies were collected. It is hoped that this new way of paying for garbage collection services would make a big difference in the cleanliness of the city.
By: Deeday Cairo
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