Cimatu wants summer garbage out

ENVIRONMENT and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu is urging local officials to plan ahead on how to manage the expected increase in volume of garbage this coming summer season.

“Local government officials should amplify their measures in managing wastes particularly in tourism sites as we expect an increased volume of garbage with the arrival of tourists this summer season,” Cimatu said.

Cimatu said local officials should put more trash bins in tourist sites to encourage proper waste disposal. 

He also appealed to tourists to be responsible for their wastes and avoid littering especially along the shorelines and in the waters.

“We do not want the same situation in Boracay Island to happen to other vacation sites. LGUs should be keen in monitoring waste issues in their areas of jurisdiction” he added. 

“Segregation activities should be strictly implemented. Tourists should also throw their garbage only in designated trash bins,” Cimatu emphasized.

 

Segregation of solid wastes

RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 mandates the segregation of solid wastes which includes the order that LGUs shall divert at least 25 percent of all solid waste disposal facilities through use, recycling and composting activities and other resource recovery activities.

Under the law, wastes should be segregated as ‘compostable,’ ‘non-recyclable,’ ‘recyclable’, ‘residual waste’ and other appropriate classifications.

Compostable wastes or biodegradable wastes are wastes that can be broken down to non-poisonous substances through the natural action of microorganisms. 

These include food wastes and soiled paper and wood. Similarly, residual wastes are wastes that are non-biodegradable, non-compostable and non-recyclable.

 

Residual wastes

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) said residual wastes should be disposed through a long-term disposal facility or sanitary landfill. 

Residual wastes include among others sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, worn-out rugs, cartons with plastic lining used for milk and juice containers, ceramics, candy wrappers or sachets and other soiled materials that cannot be composted and recycled.

 

Threat to marine life

Meanwhile, recyclable wastes are waste materials that can still be converted for beneficial use. Some of these are newspaper, ferrous scrap metal, non-ferrous scrap metal, corrugated cardboard, aluminum glass, glass, office paper, and tin cans.

Improper waste disposal especially along the shorelines affects marine life. Plastic products like PET bottles, candy wrappers sando bags and the like pose a threat to marine life that are prone to mistake plastic trash as food.

As increased tourist arrivals lead to a sharp rise in waste generation, Cimatu said LGUs in tourist cities should strictly enforce segregation of wastes to avoid environmental problems such as uncollected garbage and soil contamination among others.

Cimatu said the DENR can provide technical assistance and support to LGUs in terms of development of solid waste management plans.

 

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