TACLOBAN CITY-The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will continue to help the city government of Tacloban in the operations of its open dump site located at Barangay Santo Nino until February next year. This was revealed by Reggie Urmeneta, environmental specialist of the Environment Management Bureau (EMB-8) who said that the city government no less sought the UNDP to extend their assistance to them.

Since the UNDP took over the operations of the city’s open dump site, Urmeneta said that noticeable difference of the facility could be seen like proper segregation of recyclable materials from other wastes collected. The said facility sustained some damages due to supertyphoon Yolanda.

“The extended operation of the UNDP is a big help not just to the city of Tacloban but to other municipalities in Leyte and Samar,” Urmeneta said. Urmeneta said that collection of garbage in the city is easier considering that the city government has its own equipment like dump trucks and people.

She added that there are still waste pickers in the open dump site but it has been reduced after the UNDP hired some of them under its cash-for-work program to help them in the garbage collection. They also indentified an area where these collected wastes should be dumped.

The waste-pickers who have been hired by the UNDP are also the ones who collect those recyclable materials that can be recovered in the open dump site which the garbage collector brings in the site. They were also tasked to cover soil those garbage that cannot be recycled as required under Republic Act 9003.

“There are some recyclable materials that do not reach anymore to the open dump site for they been already separated by those waste pickers hired by the UNDP to assist in the garbage collection and the bring it in junk buyers identified in which the proceeds thereof will serve as additional income for them,” Urmeneta said.(RYAN GABRIEL ARCENAS)