“If we will not change our way of life, we will run out of land to dump the waste and we will soon be walking on streets full of garbage.” — Emelita S. Aguinaldo, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC)
Garbage is one of the biggest problems of the Philippines to date. The growth of the population in the country seems to be directly proportional, or even multiplied to the volume of garbage that is needed to be disposed. The capital city of the country which is Manila solely produces a fourth of the garbage in the Philippines amounting to up to 35,000 tons of garbage daily according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The environment of the country has been severely damaged with this extremities. A well-known example of the adverse effect is the death of the Pasig River. The river has reached its worst level when it was filled with garbage for a long time and almost lost its ability to inhabit certain species and organisms that are beneficial to the people. Due to such circumstance, the government through the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) took necessary actions to save the country before its total wreckage.
Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000
On January 26 2001, Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 was signed to address the alarming environmental situation. This law is intended to institutionalize national programs that will manage the control, transfer, transport, processing and disposal of solid waste in the country.
At this point, I would no longer discuss about the legalities and technicalities of the law, you may check out the full version of the law here.
Extensive actions and researches have been established since the implementation of the law took an effect on 2000. Conexor.com has listed a few commendable accomplishments of the law.
The project started off according to plan in March 2003 and accomplished the requirements in the ToR even faster than its initial time schedule requested.
Below on this page, the general development, experiences, accomplishments, and practical outcome in the initial – rather conventional – project are briefly described with texts and pictures.
However, the real success of the project is found in the additional work carried out in the most active of the barangays, barangay Pinagkaisahan. The project developed a small scale Eco Center that now works as the heart of a concrete, hands-on Solid Waste Management System with an adapted Material Recovery Facility (MRF); all in order to serve as the desired Best Practice Example.
Owing to very strong and dedicated Baranggay Management, enthusiastic staff, and – with time – relatively cooperative inhabitants the project has managed to reduce the number of truck loads bringing residual waste to Payatas dumpsite from eight (8) per week in the beginning of the project down to two (2) today (March 2007) -and the project is now even in the process of reducing to one (1) truck per week. This remarkable reduction of 75% or even more shows that it is possible to achieve significant positive results with limited budgets.
More of the unique accomplishments, actions, experiences, etc that have led to the sustainable success and the good example in barangay Pinagkaisahan are found on a separate page (click here).
The implementation of this law can somehow be a leap of faith if you were to ask me. It is indeed hard to kill a bad rotten practice of mismanaging the solid waste of some of the Filipinos. It is always a matter of discipline and proper knowledge in order to put this dream to reality. Although accomplishments of the law are already known to a few set of people, there are still some who still need to conform by the norms as stated in this law. To help solve the solid waste problem, NSWMC highly recommended countrymen, the formula, to adopt the 3Rs of Ecological Waste Management: REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE.
THE FIRST R – REDUCE
What’s better way of managing solid wastes than reducing your use of non-environmental friendly materials like plastic? It may look complicated but it is the easiest thing to do. You may think that giving up the things you are used to like using plastic is hard but it is more efficient than to spend thousand years of waiting for them to be completely disposed. Stay away from disposable goods, buy products with less packaging, buy durable goods, and other things that can reduce your waste.
THE SECOND R – REUSE
This method is one of the most popular nowadays. Well of course produced plastics or disposable materials as I have said would take years to completely disappear (some would never though). So instead of throwing them away at the dumps anywhere else, Reuse them. Reusing may eventually reduce the overall amount of waste.
THE THIRD R – RECYCLE
Recycle and transform what seems to be a waste already into a new useful or decorative material. When recycling, some waste materials are used to create more of the same original product, while others are used to create entirely different products.
READ MORE: PRODUCTS OF FILIPINO BRILLIANCE!