Managing Our Solid Waste

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Managing our Solid Waste:
An Overview of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act
Much had been written about the worsening problem of solid waste in Metro Manila and other urban centers in the country. Even more were fora, seminars and conferences conducted to discuss ways of solving the problem. For how long would it take us to attain a zero waste economy, no one knows. But, one thing is sure - time is running out and WE need to act NOW! Why WE?

The answer is simple, but at the same time, mind-boggling. Let’s take a look at the statistics of Metro Manila’s solid waste. Based on studies made by the National Solid Waste Management Commission Secretariat based at the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), it is estimated that the per capita waste production daily is 0.5 kg. This means that for every person living in the metropolis, he or she generates half a kilo of waste a day. With an estimated population of 10.5 million, total waste generated in Metro Manila alone could run up to 5,250 metric tons per day. Or, 162,750 metric tons per month. Or, 1.95 million metric tons per year. Definitely, that’s a lot of waste to speak of. Next, let’s talk about how our daily waste is being disposed of. Again, based on the EMB study, only about 73% of the 5,250 metric tons of waste generated daily are collected by dump trucks hired by our respective local government units. That is assuming our LGUs are faithful to their duties to us, taxpayers. The remaining 27% of our daily waste or about 1,417.5 metric tons end up in canals, vacant spaces, street corners, market places, rivers and other places where, ironically, there’s a sign that reads “HUWAG MAGTAPON NG BASURA DITO. ANG MAHULI, BUGBOG SARADO!” That explains why WE need to act. As part of the problem, because we produce garbage ourselves, we can also be part of the solution by reducing our contribution to the waste problem. Why NOW?

Because at the rate we are producing waste, we will soon find ourselves buried in...
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