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Plastics dumped in canals, waterways aggravate flooding problem in Dumaguete

DUMAGUETE CITY, July 29 – City Environment Officer Engr. Rolly Clamonte on Friday lamented that people in Dumaguete City intentionally dump plastic bags and other plastic materials into canals and waterways, thus causing the city’s sewage system to overflow during flooding.

Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA forum to celebrate National Disaster Consciousness and Prevention Month in July, Clamonte assured that the city government is exerting efforts to regularly clean out canals to avoid a repeat of the unprecedented flooding in Dumaguete on February 7, 2009.

Engr. Clamonte disclosed that of the 200 kilos of trash collected from the wastewater treatment facility at the Quezon Park during that incident consisted mostly of plastic bags.

Materials made of plastic do not dissolve and therefore contribute to the clogging of the canals, drainage systems and other waterways, like the Banica River.

Last June 30, many areas in the city were also submerged in flood waters following excessive rainfall that lasted just a little over an hour. Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria later admitted that the city’s drainage system is not designed to accommodate large volumes of water, especially during heavy rains.

Meanwhile, Clamonte disclosed that the city government has already ordered a sifting machine that would segregate the plastics from other trash at the city’s dump site in Candauay.

He said the segregated plastics would be packed and shipped to a cement factory in Iloilo while the bio-degradable items can be used for composting purposes. (PNA) LAP/JFP

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