Proper garbage disposal

July 9, 2015

“UNLESS we learn how to manage our waste, starting with proper garbage segregation and disposal, we will never be able to clean our waters and our communities,” warned Sen. Loren Legarda, a known Filipino environmentalist.

Of course, the warning is nothing new in the Philippines, which is reportedly the world’s third top contributor of plastic marine waste, next only to China and Indonesia.

Of the 275 million tons of plastic waste generated in 192 coastal countries throughout the world in 2010, plastic debris entering the ocean was placed at between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons, according to a study published in the journal “Science.”

In a keynote speech during the First National Integrated Waste Exhibition held recently at SM North EDSA in Quezon City, the highly-articulate Legarda underscored the urgent need to strictly enforce the landmark Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act.

Otherwise, she said, all efforts to rehabilitate sun-kissed but heavily-polluted Manila Bay and all other marine ecosystems across the country would be futile.

Authored by the lady senator, Republic Act (RA) No. 9003, otherwise known as the ESWM Law, calls for the mandatory segregation of wastes, establishment of materials recovery facilities and the submission of 10-year solid waste management (SWM) plan.

Note that 14 years after its passage, many local government units (LGUs) have yet to comply with the provisions of RA No. 9003, notably on decentralization of waste collection, submission of an SWM plan and closure of all open and controlled dumpsites.

A former broadcast journalist, Ms. Legarda cited the case of the Manila Bay region. Out of 178 LGUs within the bay area, only 51 percent are compliant with segregation-at-source, while only two have an approved SWM plan.

Like the workaholic Legarda, we call on the people, particularly those living near waterways, to veer away from the throw-away culture and aim for zero waste economy where the output of each resource use is converted into input for another use.

This, if we, and the generations to come, want to live in a safe, clean, healthy and resilient world.

Source: Journal Online