DENR envisions more biodegradable waste recovery

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) seeks to help local government units (LGUs) to increase their recovery of biodegradable wastes.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said they have   started coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the recovery and composting of biodegradable waste to help LGUs reduce the volume of trash for collection and disposal.

Antiporda said “biodegradables consist about 52% to 58% of solid waste generated in our country, and properly  segregating wastes is essential in efficiently recovering the biodegradables.”

Uner RA 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act), waste segregation refers to “a waste management practice of separating different materials found in solid wastes to promote recycling and re-use of resources and  reduce the volume of waste for collection and disposal.”

The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) said biodegradable waste can be mixed with soil, water, air and biological additives or activators to produce compost.

The NSWMC said biodegradable wastes include leftover food, fruit and vegetable peelings, soft shells, seeds, leaves, flowers, twigs, branches, stems and entrails of fish, fowl and other animals.

Antiporda said DENR plans to ask LGUs about the state of biodegradable waste in their respective areas and find out where and how they disposr them.

He said the continuing onslaught of the African Swine Fever (ASF) has reduced hog raisers’ demand for leftover food which they feed pigs, and LGUs must clarify how this biodegradable waste is being handled. “One thing we want to ask LGUs is how they deal with biodegradable waste,” he stressed.

The DENR earlier announced last January its plan to provide industrial-grade shredder-composter machines to 178 LGUs along the Manila Bay area to help the LGUs comply with RA 9003 and reduce the flow of wastes into Manila Bay.

The agency said it is already turning over the first batch of the shredder-composter machines to the LGUs of San Fernando City, and the towns of Apalit, Candaba, Guagua and Magalang in Pampanga which areas extend to the Manila Bay shorelines.

Antiporda said the DENR will continue providing LGUs nationwide technical and other capability-building assistance for handling waste in accordance with RA 9003.

He noted that LGUs must strive to comply with RA 9003 so the country can better address its waste problem, since “the national government can’t do it alone.”