DENR eyes more biodegradable waste recovery nationwide

DENR eyes more biodegradable waste recovery nationwide

MANILA – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is seeking the increased recovery of biodegradable wastes by local government units nationwide.

The DENR already began coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) regarding such matter as recovering and composting biodegradable waste helps reduce the volume of trash for collection and disposal, according to DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda.

“Biodegradables are about 52 percent to 58 percent of solid waste generated in our country,” he said.

Properly segregating waste is essential in recovering biodegradables, he noted.

Segregation “shall refer to a solid waste management practice of separating different materials found in solid waste in order to promote recycling and re-use of resources and to reduce the volume of waste for collection and disposal,” according to Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act).

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

Biodegradable waste includes leftover food, fruit and vegetable peelings, soft shells, seeds, leaves, flowers, twigs, branches, stems as well as entrails of fish, fowl and other animals, noted NSWMC.

Antiporda said DENR plans to ask LGUs about the state of biodegradable waste in their respective areas.

DENR wants to find out where and how LGUs are disposing biodegradable waste, he continued.

Since continuing onslaught of African swine fever (ASF) reduced hog raisers’ demand for leftover food which they feed pigs, he said LGUs must clarify how this biodegradable waste is being handled.

“One thing we want to ask LGUs is how they’re dealing with biodegradable waste,” he said.

In its Jan. 2, 2021 press release, DENR announced its plan to provide industrial-grade shredder-composter machines this year to 178 LGUs within Manila Bay.

Such plan aims to help the LGUs comply with RA 9003 and reduce flow of waste into Manila Bay, noted DENR.

DENR reported already turning over the first batch of shredder-composter machines to LGUs of San Fernando City as well as Apalit, Candaba, Guagua and Magalang towns.

The areas are in Manila Bay region’s Pampanga province.

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

He noted LGUs must strive to comply with RA 9003 so the country can better address its waste problem, however.

“National government can’t do it alone,” he reiterated. (PNA)

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