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Everybody's talking trash these days. It's a bit late to jump on the bandwagon, but I must, lest I be "sunctioned" by our barangay chairperson, who issued an administrative order with instructions for waste segregation last month:

Tie a red ribbon around garbage bags containing "nabubulok".
Tie a blue ribbon around garbage bags containing "biodegradables or garbage that can be sold". (Ha? What part of the 3 R's did I not get?)
Tie a yellow ribbon around garbage bags containing "residuals or di nabubulok".
Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree.

At last! At last! At last! Baguio is implementing a serious waste management program! (But I can't help but wonder, what's the barangay going to do with all those ribbons?)

At last! At last! At last! All the waste segregation my mother drummed into our skulls since early childhood will actually mean something beyond the gates of our home!

But the all or nothing style of our mayor, epitomized by his decree that unsegregated garbage shall not be collected (sige ka!), has led to unusual results for a waste segregation program: unsegregated garbage on the streets is on the rise, and trees are now bearing strange fruit!

The mayor put out this appeal on his multiply site. Those of you with televisions at home will probably see this on local channels as well:

Cute no?

As you will see on the mayor's multiply, a number of his contacts took the opportunity to let him know that they fully supported his initiative! (You don't have to be a multiply member to see his site, but you have to be a multiply member to leave a comment.) That's truly heartening! After all, the only way we can finally manage our waste properly is through everybody's willingness to segregate! A number of us (two, to be exact) gave him our piso-minds, and left some litter on his site.

Here's my piso-mind:

Thank you for finally making waste segregation a reality in our beloved city! It really is about time!

However, I hope you will not be offended by my audacity to point out a few flaws in the new system, namely, this:


While we ourselves are happy to segregate our garbage (we have been doing so for years) we can't help but notice and be dismayed by the accumulation of garbage on the streets. This appears to be a result of the order issued to leave unsegregated garbage uncollected. The collectors are complying, but I do not think that the message is getting across effectively to other residents and commercial establishments. I have also noted that the (barangay) collectors simply squeeze the bags, and somehow they are able to tell by squeezing the bags in their hands whether the contents are unsegregated or not. So then even the garbage bags that we are sure contained only "nabubulok" got left behind. Of course, they were careful to collect everything that contained something that could be re-sold. I do not think that this kind of negligence of collection should be allowed to continue.

Please create a transition phase for this program, so that we are not faced with a larger and more visible garbage problem on our streets. It's repulsive. Please pursue this waste segregation program with a strong hand and with perseverance. We need a stronger educational approach to make this a success. You have our support in this!

Thank you for maintaining this blog and making it possible for people like me to reach you and feel that I can be heard by our local government!

I suppose I was trying to be diplomatic (better that than sipsip). Still no reply (but what did I expect?). I guess (I hope) the mayor is busy cleaning up the mess?


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