DENR vows to focus on Solid waste management agenda

(Photo courtesy of DENR)

Solid waste management will remain a top priority of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to enable it to attain its goal of approving the 10-year solid waste management plans (SWMPs) of more local government units (LGUs) nationwide.

Chaired by the DENR, the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) plans to focus on having 185 LGUs with approved 10-year SWMPs by the end of 2022 in compliance with R. A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

A recent news report said the as of February 22, a total of 1,175 SWMPs out of the target 1,716 plans have been approved. The  NSWMC recently approved the SWMPs of Pontevedra, Negros Occidental; Magallanes, Sorsogon; Balbalan, Kalinga; and Abra

The 10-year SWMP is a requirement under RA 9003 for the effective solid waste management in cities and municipalities. It includes strategies on proper waste collection, diversion and disposal, as well as proper operation and maintenance of solid waste equipment and facilities.

The plan also specifies certain initiatives such as information dissemination strategies to residents, the presence of materials recovery facility and sanitary landfill, biodegradable waste process, and partnership with organizations for their recycling.

It likewise includes a Covid-19 waste management strategy to help prevent possible contamination caused by medical wastes like used face mask and other medical protective equipment.

The DENR-Environmental Management Bureau regional offices are tasked to screen LGUs’ 10-year SWMP draft, while further validations will be conducted by the central office. The plan also needs to earn the NSWMC approval.

“Our battle against solid waste continues and we will not stop until all our LGUs have their approved SWMPs and have implemented these. We will continue to act fast on the problems of unsegregated wastes ending up in sanitary landfills, Covid-19 health care wastes, and the unchanged behavior of the majority of the Filipinos towards solid waste disposal,” DENR Acting Secretary Jim Sampulna assured.

He said the Commission “commits to assist LGUs towards the approval of their solid waste management plans and we will not stop until we reach 100% approved SWMPs to have an environmentally-sound management of solid waste.”