A Visit to the Dumaguete Dumpsite

My last visit to the Dumaguete Dumpsite in Baranggay Candau-ay was several years ago, when it was still new and the idea of a park being on the same area where the dumpsite stood was still such a novelty. I reached the dumpsite at around 5:15 in the afternoon today, and the sun was already going down. I wanted to test my camera on the birds in the dumpsite aviary, but low light and the smaller number of birds inside the aviary drove me to take pictures of the area instead. A girl who happened to live in the area told me that only a few birds remained in the aviary... most of the birds have died or have escaped through holes made by the growing branches of the trees inside the cage. I remember seeing a few colorful birds in the aviary during my first visit. None of those birds were inside the aviary this time.

It was almost dark when I moved to where the majority of the garbage was dumped. A number of 'basureros' were there, busy rummaging through the piles of garbage. Others were hauling piles of flattened cardboard boxes over the back of a large cargo truck that was set to transport its load all the way to Cebu. A welcome sight was the small hill sitting smack in the middle of the dumpsite. On top of the hill were two bright yellow benches flanked by two lamp posts on each side. It was only when I got closer when I realized that the hill, the bright yellow benches, and the man sitting on one of them were all covered by swarms of big, fat flies. Flies who live in a dumpsite should be fat, and these ones were ginormous.

I managed to get some of my questions answered by Manong J* who was sitting on the bench. That, yes, they do get dead bodies from time to time, and yes, pieces of jewelry and even money, large sums at that, often end up in the dumpsite by mistake. I saw a young boy hauling a sack of garbage over his shoulder while listening to music from his CD player. Another guy was texting someone on his cellphone while standing over a pile of garbage. Everyone in the dumpsite is friendly. They laugh and smile and joke while poking at the garbage with sticks. One guy told me to post the pictures on Youtube.

There are no plans to expand the dumpsite, which is a good thing. According to Manong J* there's nowhere to go but up, so I guess they'll start piling the garbage on top of each other until junk reaches the sky. Its a better alternative than turning the whole place into one large garbage pit.

I also learned that we can dump our garbage directly in the dumpsite, good news for us since the garbage truck seems to have forgotten to make the rounds around our area lately. There's a dumping fee though: 15 pesos for biodegradables and 30 pesos for non-biodegradables. I didn't really realize that the dumpsite was located right beside a river until I read this blog post on Multiply. I didn't know that that river still had water running through it, and wondered if the water I drank everyday has traces of the dumpsite flowing in it... scary thought.



The entrance to the dumpsite



Manong J* sitting on the yellow bench.


A view from the top


Another view from the top



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