(First of two parts)
Aside from the traffic mess, the other big problem in Metro Manila is the poor disposal of garbage.
A study of the Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO) of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) showed that the actual volume of waste in Metro Manila that was properly disposed in its dumping area has reached only 29,645.44 cubic meters per day, out of 54,084.86 cubic meters of garbage collected per day as of June this year.
That was equivalent to 54.81 percent of the total collected garbage each day.
Therefore, 45.19 percent of the garbage was not properly disposed.
899.44-ton increase per day
MMDA records showed that the total volume of garbage thrown by Metro Manila residents last year was 9,499.44 tons per day, compared with 8,600 tons per day in 2010.
The Manila Times’ computation showed that there was an increase in the volume of waste being thrown by the residents of 899.44 tons per day during the six-year period.
The MMDA’s figure indicates a big problem in garbage collection and disposal in Metro Manila.
Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition, told The Manila Times that collection and proper disposal of garbage are indeed problematic.
Metro mayors to blame
Lucero said the 17 local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila should be blamed for this problem since “LGUs have the responsibility in disposing the solid waste in their respective cities” in proper dumping areas as stipulated in Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
RA 9003, enacted in the year 2000, contained provisions on proper collection and segregation of different types of waste, and their disposal.
According to Lucero, RA 9003 was not effectively implemented by the 17 Metro Manila mayors.
The MMDA is thus not to blame as its role in the garbage issue is “only in support to the LGUs and monitoring solid waste management.”
Lim silent on the problem
The MMDA however can coordinate and discuss with Metro Manila mayors on how to address the waste problem through the Metro Manila Council.
But the issue was never tackled in the council. MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim has not initiated council meetings on the garbage problem since he assumed the agency’s top post in May.
Lim, a retired military general, has also not issued a statement to the media on how to address the problem.
What Lim promised to do before the media were: address the monstrous problem of traffic in Metro Manila, particularly the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or Edsa, and dismiss from the MMDA rogue traffic enforcers and employees.
Plastic still at No. 2
The Manila Times further learned from the MMDA that each resident of Metro Manila throws a maximum of 1.0032 kilograms of garbage per day, a huge increase from the 2010 figure of 0.7 kilogram daily.
MMDA data showed that the No. 1 type of waste thrown in 2016 was kitchen waste, which accounted for 33.67 percent of the more than 9,000 tons of garbage collected per day.
This was followed by plastic at 13.51 percent and paper at 12.82 percent.
Plastic still ranked second despite the fact that all cities and the lone municipality in Metro Manila have banned the use of plastic bags in supermarkets.
This means that nothing has changed, since kitchen waste, plastic and paper were also the top three types of trash thrown by Metro Manila residents in 2010.