Across the Philippines, solid waste disposal is a massive problem. Loads of garbage, ranging from empty bottles, leftover foods to human excreta, are being generated every day. The availability of trash bins is considered useless because people lack the knowledge to use them properly.
According to a study conducted by the Philippine Environment Monitor of 2001, a Filipino generates about 0.3 to 0.7 kilograms of waste everyday depending on the income level. Seventy percent (70%) of the domestic garbage is collected in urban areas, and thirty percent (30%) are collected in rural areas. Two (2%) percent of generated waste are disposed on landfills, ten percent (10%) is composted and a small percentage is recycled. The rest are disposed in open dumps. Five percent (5%) of the estimated hazardous waste are recycled or treated annually. Therefore, there is still a lot of waste left untreated and, there is still a great need to acquire landfills for this untreated waste. Despite the legislation of RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management, which gives the local government units (LGUs) the authority to take charge of the management of solid waste management programs in their respective areas of responsibility—requiring the people to practice segregation, reusing and recycling, some communities are still unable to comply. The low level of environmental literacy and awareness of the public partly contributed to the difficulties in implementing and enforcing environmental laws and policy, particularly, laws on cleanliness and sanitation (Jaworski & DENR, 2002).
The dumpsite for waste disposal in the municipality of Liloy is currently located in barangay Overview. Solid waste from the Poblacion area are being handled by the garbage collector and dumped to the dumpsite on a daily schedule. However, other barangays, especially those located in areas remote from the Poblacion, resort to traditional ways of solid waste disposal such as open dumping and burning. Open burning, which emits pollutant hazardous to health and environment, however, is prohibited as stated in Rule III Section 1 of the Republic Act of 9003, otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2001. Having a sufficient land area for garbage disposal, the local government advocated the use of compost pit disposals instead of using garbage collection truck as a garbage collection system for the barangay. Each household has a so-called “layakan” in their backyards. “Layakan” is supposed to be a two-way compost pit disposal; one for biodegradable waste and the other for non-biodegradable waste.
In a community assessment in Barangay Goaw, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte, improper garbage disposal was one of the community’s perceived top problems. One could even see the indiscriminate dumping of waste on the residents’ backyards. Surveyed data showed that only 25% has compost pit disposals (without segregation of biodegradable and non biodegradable) and 32% burn their garbage in the backyard. Waste segregation is not practiced by 75% of the households.
Considering the potential threat improper solid waste disposal can present to health and environment, interventions placing emphasis on segregation, recycling and composting as mandated by ESWM RA 9003, are important. Moreover, resources for proper solid waste disposal would be made available in the public areas, supporting the advocacy of Section 32 of RA 9003, which requires that there shall be separate container, which are properly labeled for each type of waste from all sources and that there shall be established Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in every barangay or cluster of barangay, respectively. With the implementation of these strategies, the pressing problem on solid waste management in Goaw will be resolved.
Shown below are the objectives, strategies and results of the health plan on solid waste management:
Specific Objective #1
To decrease the percentage of households who do not practice waste segregation from 75% to 25%.
Previous Strategies Done
ü “Tsikiting Basura Program” pertains to a simple and creative story-telling conducted in Goaw Day-care center highlighting solid waste segregation last October 2014 and 2015. This program also involves lecture-discussion among school-aged children about waste segregation.
Current Strategies Done
ü “Tsikiting Basura Brigade,” a group of volunteer school-aged children, who conduct clean-up drives every Saturday, was formed last December 2016. The “TBB” cleans certain areas of the Barangay such as the main road and the Sentro of the Barangay once every week observing waste segregation in the process.
ü “Basura ko, Responsibilidad ko”, an assembly about proper solid waste management as per RA 9003 Ecological Solid Waste Management was conducted last April 2015 and this December 2016.
· Last November 2016, the “Tsikiting Basura Brigade” was formed. This group is consisted of 13 enthusiastic, volunteer school-aged children. The group’s task includes conducting cleanup-drives once every week on the main road and Sentro of the Barangay.
· “Basura ko, Responsibilidad ko” which was conducted last April 2015 was conducted again this December 2016. The event was successful as evidenced by an increase in the average scores from 6.9 to 8.23.
· As of December 2016,the percentage of households who do not practice waste segregation decreased from 75% to 21%.
· The group plans to continue monitoring the effect of the “Basura ko, Responsibilidad ko Program,” by determining the waste segregation practices of the residents.
Specific Objective #2
To decrease the percentage of households who do not practice recycling from 86% to 25%
Previous Strategies Done
ü Coordinated with a local junkshop to gain support and inputs for the proposed projects and forthcoming activities. An existing agreement between the barangay and a local junkshop was then identified last October 2015.
ü Distribution of informative brochures to each household highlighting the importance and advantages of recycling. Eighty-eight (88%) percent of the households received informative pamphlets highlighting the importance and benefits of recycling last April 2015.
· As of December 2016, the percentage of households who do not practice recycling decreased from 86% to 11%
o The group plans to continue monitoring the recycling practices of the residents.
Specific Objective #3
To increase the number of proper resources (trash bins and barangay MRF) for solid waste segregation and disposal in the public areas from 0 to 8
Previous Strategies Done
ü The group conducted a meeting with the Barangay officials and SWM Committee last October 2015 to implement the agreed plan for the construction of trash bins. Afterwards, acquisition of proper and cost effective trash bins and the establishment of a Barangay Material Recovery Facility were accomplished. As of December 2016, the four trash bins which were turned over to the barangay last October 2015, are still existing and functional. The Barangay Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), which had already been constructed by the Barangay last October 2015, and the other 7 barangay MRF’s, which were added per purok, are still fully functional. The residents of the Barangay are really using these structures contributing to the award won by the Barangay during the Clean and Green Competition last August, which was the “Barangay with the most functional MRF.”
o The group plans to improve the main Barangay MRF by adding specific compartments to distinguish the recyclables like glasses, metals and cans. Hopefully, the plan will be realized on January 2017.
Specific Objectives #4
To decrease the percentage of households who practice composting from 75% to 25%
Current Strategies Done
ü “Layakan Ta, Paninduton Ta Program”, a seminar regarding composting and its advantages spearheaded last December 2016 in coordination with the SWM Committee and external linkages of different government agencies (DENR, DA).
· As of December 2016, the “Layakan Ta, Paninduton Ta Program” which was conducted in coordination with the DENR with a 28% attendance.
Currently, the percentage of households who do not practice recycling decreased from 75% to 20%.
As of December 2016, all the activities proposed for the improvement of the solid waste management practices of the residents were already done. The effect of the activities and projects are now currently being monitored in terms of the percentage of households who practice waste segregation, recycling and composting. Currently, the percentage of households who practice proper solid waste management (waste segregation, recycling and composting) increased from 14% to 78%. The group remains hopeful that the improvement in the solid waste management practices of the residents would continue.