Quezon City will soon rid its estuaries of tons of garbage clogging its waterways with the recent turnover of an Automatic Trash Raker Facility (ATR) by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to the city.
The waterways run all the way to San Juan River which is blamed for the above-the-waist flooding in G. Araneta Avenue in QC and its nearby barangays.
Developed by DOST’s Metals Institute Research and Development Center, the ATR was patterned after existing foreign developed trash rakers in Metro Manila’s pumping stations. At five meters high and six meters wide, the machine has six rakes and is run by a 10 HP motor output. It collects trash thrice a day for 5-10 minutes, depending on the volume of garbage that flows especially during typhoons.
The ATR stands in the middle of Balingasa Creek along G. Araneta Avenue corner Mauban Street in Barangay Manresa, QC.
According to DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, studies showed that among the major contributors to Metro Manila floods is the inefficiency of garbage collections in estuaries and canals. Tributaries such as the Balingasa Creek are likewise blamed for the immediate rise of flood waters during torrential rains.
“So what we did is look for an efficient garbage collection technology that will take these out of the creeks and go straight to the garbage trucks for proper disposal,” he explained.
Montejo added that President Aquino asked for DOST’s long-term solution to the problem concerning Manila Bay which has been bearing the brunt of major typhoons as tons of solid wastes from nearby cities end up sprawled over its shores.
Meanwhile QC Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista called for government officials to work together and refrain from blaming each other when calamity strikes. “I will talk to the League of City Mayors and convince them to adopt this technology from DOST,” said Mayor Bautista.
The ATR is scalable depending on the requirements of the adopter.
The technology does not only efficiently collect garbage from the estuaries, stressed Montejo, but also generates livelihood and jobs. “You (Mayor Bautista) might be proud that the fabricator of this technology is from Quezon City, so it does not only help us clear our waterways but it provides livelihood for your constituents,” he explained.
In 2008, the Supreme Court issued a Writ of Continuing Mandamus which directed 13 government agencies “to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay, and restore and maintain its waters to make them fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation.” Until this day the Manila Bay waters remain polluted. A report by the Metro Manila Development Authority in 2012 said they collected 1,800 tons of garbage in Manila Bay, mostly plastics and wrappers washed out during heavy rains. (S&T Media Service)
Raking trash off Quezon City. Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario G. Montejo (left) explains to Quezon City Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista (right)during the formal turnover of the Automatic Trash Rake Facility (ATR) project how the ATR can help clean the city’s open canals and estuaries from garbage that goes all the way to San Juan River system that is blamed for the above-the-waist floods in the G. Araneta Ave. area and its nearby barangays. The locally designed ATR can collect solid wastes from canals and estuaries and serve as an alternative to existing foreign developed equipment that are stationed in Manila, Taguig, and Pasig pumping stations. (Photo by Gerardo Palad, S&T Media service, DOST-STII)