Waste solution in our hands
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas (The Freeman) - August 8, 2019 - 12:00am

Both Lito Vasquez and Emma Azcarraga Ramas shared with us a letter they sent to editors of newspapers to get the attention, especially of public officials, to seriously implement waste segregation.

Lito emphasized that had segregation been enforced, the city would have earned and saved millions. But because segregation is not practiced, the city loses precious millions for hauling garbage.

Emma wrote: “Please help me get our media practitioners to write about segregation of garbage at source and get our politicians to include this in their program of waste management. Please support our advocacy of rescuing malata wastes from ending into our landfills. We set up a facility next to our transfer station in Inayawan to process malata wastes from Carbon. But we can hardly get 10 tons per day, which is way below our capacity of 60 tons per day, because the wastes in Carbon are not segregated.

“It takes us forever to separate the malata from the plastics and the glass and the metals at the transfer station. We give the malata wastes a second life by processing them into compost then blend to make fertilizer. This effort will have a great impact in our agriculture and on our health as our farmers shift their growing method from chemical based to natural or organic farming.”

Can anyone help waste segregation advocates link with or relay their pro-segregation and inexpensive waste management options to public officials, especially Mayor Edgardo Labella and Vice Mayor Mike Rama? May we also ask all media and editors to publish a common editorial about the value and urgency of waste segregation please? Calling everyone to campaign for waste segregation.

Our message is simple and one that everyone knows well: Waste starts from everyone’s hands; therefore, the waste solution is also in our hands. So much garbage problem can be solved if only each of us properly segregates and manages our own different types of waste that come from our hands.

Specifically, wet, malata wastes can be collected together to be used for compost and fertilizer in our own small gardens or pots. How? Make a clubhouse sandwich for the worms from your wet, malata waste. Start with a layer of soil, then add portions of chopped (tinadtad) wet waste. Then do another layer of soil, followed by chopped wet waste, then finish off with a layer of soil thick enough to ward off mice, cats, and dogs from digging into the layer of wet waste. Doing this will solve the wet waste disposal problem at homes and communities.

Or properly segregated wet, malata wastes should be brought outside of homes ONLY on designated collection days. Wet wastes from markets like Carbon and other establishments SHOULD be segregated properly first, then picked up and brought to facilities that convert wet waste into fertilizers. Strict penalties should be applied to violators.

Other segregated wastes, paper, plastics, and others can also have their specific days for pick up and proper management. Waste paper and bottles can be recycled and reused and plastics recycled and reused as tiles, pavers, chairs, tables, waste cans, etc.

In short, effective waste management starts from recognizing, segregating, and dealing appropriately with different waste types. As waste starts with generators (individuals, households, communities, establishments, others), then the waste solution should start with waste generators. Waste segregation at source is key!

With waste segregation done by responsible and participative waste generators, then wasted budget for collection, disposal landfills, dumpsites or WTE (waste-to-energy) facilities can be sustainably saved for people’s welfare and health.


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