CALAMBA CITY, Laguna -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)- Environment Management Bureau (EMB) in Calabarzon has urged on Monday the massive reduction of wastes by households and commercial establishments in the region in view of limited landfills and dumpsites.
DENR Calabarzon Regional Executive Director, lawyer Maria Paz Luna said all local government units (LGUs) need to expand their solutions to include finding economic uses on garbage or trashes.
“Many LGUs now can derive economic value from their wastes, we only need to increase demand,” she said.
Apart from the economic-driven solution, the DENR suggested exploring the possibility of putting up a disposal facility per province through linkage with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
It also stressed the need for all public infrastructure to consider the testing and use of bricks that remove waste out of the waste stream.
“Landfills are no less public works than roads and bridges. Pag umapaw na po ang palanggana, hahagilapin ba muna ang mop o papatayin muna ang tubig? Wala na pong pagpigaan ng mop, ibang paraan na ang dapat hanapin pag 60 percent na ang problema (If the basin overflows, do we look for a mop or stop the water from dripping? If there is no more basin on which to squeeze the mop, then we have to find ways if the problem has reached 60 percent),” Luna said.
It reported that only 38 percent of wastes generated in the region comprising Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon could be accommodated in 35 sanitary landfills spread through localities with permits to operate as each landfill only has a total capacity of around 2,193 tons of waste per day.
Based on data submitted by the LGUs to the EMB, Calabarzon Region produces 5,695 tons of waste per day with a per capita waste generation ranging from 190 grams to 390 grams per person per day.
Cavite and Laguna rank the highest on per capita while Quezon has the lowest range which is lower than per capita volumes in metropolitan areas and mass tourism places like Boracay.
In their recent meeting with the DENR officials, the LGUs appealed that 100-percent efficiency in waste collection could not be attained due to constraints in the number of operating dump trucks and manpower.
The discussions also tackled garbage collection services that are typically centered around the “poblacion” (town proper) areas, and tipping fees in the landfills range from PHP7,000 to PHP15,000 per truck of wastes.
The Ecological Solid Waste Management law also requires that only residual wastes shall be disposed in sanitary landfills (SLFs).
Thus, stricter household monitoring of waste segregation will lessen these costs by up to half and any LGU breaching the law could face raps before the Ombudsman.
The EMB, however, clarified it has no mandate to put up infrastructures like SLFs and the primary duty for waste management remains in the LGUs.
DENR likewise urged the LGUs to intensify their continuous coordination with the private sector as a holistic approach to waste reduction in the region especially starting at the household level. (PNA)