MANILA – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is offering technical assistance that will enable local government units (LGUs) without appropriate waste disposal facilities to properly handle trash.
DENR’s regional offices nationwide are available to guide such LGUs on establishing respective residuals containment areas (RCAs), where residual waste (trash that can’t be composted and recycled) may be stored before being transported to appropriate disposal facilities.
“LGUs can seek our regional offices’ help in coming up with RCAs,” DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said in a recent interview, anticipating a further need for the facilities amid DENR chief Roy Cimatu’s order to close down all open dumps nationwide this month.
Open dump is a “disposal area wherein the solid wastes are indiscriminately thrown or disposed of without due planning and consideration for environmental and health standards,” according to Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
RCAs need not be expensive and complicated as the structures can just be 20-square meter strategically located areas enclosed by galvanized iron sheets only, Antiporda said.
“An LGU can establish its RCA within a week,” he said.
Residuals to be temporarily stored in RCAs must be inside sacks and other bags that don’t leak.
The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) said residuals are solid wastes that are non-compostable and non-recyclable.
Among residual wastes are sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, worn-out rugs, ceramics, plastic-lined cartons and candy wrappers, the NSWMC explained. They must be “disposed of ecologically through a long-term disposal facility or sanitary landfill.”
Antiporda reiterated the need for waste segregation, noting this will enable LGUs to recover waste for composting, recycling and reuse so there’ll be less trash to dispose of.
Compostable waste alone already accounts for some 52 to 58 percent of solid waste, he said, highlighting how segregation can reduce volume of trash for disposal.
DENR will continue monitoring LGUs’ compliance with waste segregation which the law requires.
In January 2021, Cimatu ordered the closure of all open dumps in the country by the end of March.
“Such closure is long overdue,” Antiporda said, noting that a ban on open dumps has been ordered for years but they continue operating. (PNA)
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