SWITCHING TO ZERO Waste by practicing waste segregation, reusing and recycling and installing Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in every barangay will help solve Dumaguete City’s garbage problem, said executive director of Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) Philippines, Froilan Grate.
GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries whose ultimate vision is a just, toxic-free world without incineration or burning, as defined in their website.
Grate spoke about zero waste advocacy during the 4th Zero Waste Youth Convergence last Jan. 17 at Foundation University.
Instead of the linear system which is “buy, use, throw,” Grate said Zero Waste is a cyclical system wherein resources used are not thrown away but are instead reused or recycled.
According to GAIA study, only 7 percent among people’s garbage are residual waste or single use waste, while 52 percent can still be used and 41 percent can be sold.
“Hakot-tambak system, sige tapon, pag daan ng truck itapon nalang, pero ang problema saan ba talaga itatapon? In Dumaguete we are looking for new landfill. That is the question we are trying to solve; saan itatapon?” said Grate.
“But maybe the better question is ‘What can we do para mabawasan ang basurang tinatapon natin?’ That is the real essence of Zero Waste,” he continued.
Grate stressed that the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (R.A. 9003) says the city government is only responsible over residual waste or wastes that can no
longer be used; the rest of the wastes should be collected and managed by every barangay while segregation should start in every home.
According to the law, dumpsites are prohibited and each barangay should have their own MRF where segregated wastes from household will be received for final sorting according to its type for composting and recycling.
However, their study also showed that 60 percent of Filipino households admitted burning their waste and 43 percent to illegally dumping wastes especially in bodies