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Legarda: Let’s Aim for Zero Waste Economy

January 5, 2017

In observance of Zero Waste Month, Senator Loren Legarda today renewed her call for everyone’s contribution to strictly observe and implement Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Law and aim for a zero waste economy.

Legarda, principal author of RA 9003, said that ecological solid waste management should be a way of life.

“We have a very good law but effective implementation rests in the effort of everyone. Local government units (LGUs), including the barangays, should lead strict implementation by setting up materials recovery facility (MRF), implementing no segregation/no collection rule, closure and rehabilitation of open/controlled disposal facility, use of sanitary landfill or alternative technology, and submission of 10-year solid waste management plan,” she explained.

The Senator added that the whole community should be involved and every household should implement segregation at source and practice the 3Rs—reduce, reuse, recycle.

Legarda shared how segregation at source can be done.

Every household should have one trash can for biodegradable and food waste; one trash can for recyclables or residual waste; and another for special or hazardous waste, busted lamps, radio and cellphone batteries. For paper that can be recycled, these can be placed flat in a box or in a paper bag.

When going to market or the grocery, bring containers to avoid using plastic bags. Reusable containers can be used in purchasing fish, meat and other poultry products; while bayong and reusable cloth bags can be used for dry items.

“To our local leaders from the provincial, city and municipal levels down to the barangay, greater action is expected as they are tasked to implement the law. It is the barangay that must collect all segregated waste, which should go to the barangay MRF for proper waste management,” Legarda explained.

Biodegradable waste goes to composting, animal feeds or biogas; while recyclables go to the junk shops. Only residual waste should be collected by the city or municipal truck.

Meanwhile, special or hazardous waste will go to the city/municipal MRF for proper treatment or disposal in coordination with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

“We can also precycle by avoiding buying unnecessary goods, repairing electronics and appliances, and patronizing recycled products,” she said.

“A zero waste lifestyle may seem difficult at first especially since many are not yet used to it, but let us take it as a simple sacrifice that would make our surroundings cleaner, safer and healthier,” Legarda concluded.