• Tons of garbage clog ‘Gates of Hell’

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    AFTER the fun in lighting those fireworks and firecrackers, mounds of garbage choke the major roads of Metro Manila, a usual scenario after the New Year revelry.

    The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental watchdog group, on Wednesday said that its Basura Patrollers reported piles upon piles of post-revelry trash dumped along J. P. Rizal Avenue in Makati City; Sangandaan Market, Malabon City; Martinez Street, Mandaluyong City; Francisco Street in San Andres, Manila, Quirino Avenue, Manila; E. Rodriguez Avenue-Damayang Lagi and Kaliraya Streets, all in Quezon City and Bagong Kalsada, Tuktukan, Taguig City.

    “On the first day of the new year, we see these all too familiar sights of street dumps and smell the stink of mixed garbage rising from it,” said Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition.

    She lamented that the mammoth disposal of post-revelry trash in countless street corners and sidewalks will surely keep garbage collectors busy and the dump trucks and dumpsites filled to the brim.

    “Tons of garbage from the revelries, left on the streets to be collected and disposed of by haulers in far-off places, greet passersby and commuters covering their noses because of the stench,” she said.

    Among the most visible stuff thrown away by residents were firecracker wrappers, food leftovers, styrofoam containers, soiled packaging materials and tons of plastic bags, the Basura Patrollers reported.

    Mess ushers new year
    “Disappointingly, this is the messiness by which we usher in the New Year. And it’s a messiness that is polluting even faraway communities where such garbage is disposed of in dumpsites or landfills,” Lucero said.

    Since this is the period when many people make resolutions for the New Year, the EcoWaste Coalition urged Filipinos from all walks of life to commit to preventing and reducing waste this 2014.

    “We invite everyone, from the filthy rich to the dirt poor, to waste less this New Year by reducing what we throw away and reusing, repairing and recycling even more,” she said.

    She said the Philippines could surely have a garbage and toxics-free society by embracing a more eco-friendly way of life.

    “By aiming for a zero waste lifestyle at home, church, school, workplace and neighborhood where we belong, we save precious resources from being squandered, reduce environmental pollution, make our communities tidier and safer, and save public monies by avoiding disposal costs,” she added.

    Data posted on the website of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) showed the national daily waste generation rising from 38,757 tons in 2013 to 38,092 in 2014. The daily wage generated in 2012 was 37,427 in 2012 and this will climb to 40,087 in 2016.

    The NSWMC said waste generation in the National Capital Region would increase from 8,754 tons in 2013 to 8,907 tons daily in 2014.

    NSWMC’s figures showed that Metro Manila’s garbage is 52 percent biodegradable, 41 percent recyclable and 7 percent residual.

    Waste diversion rate, or the amount of trash diverted away from dumpsites, landfills and incinerators, is reportedly 41 percent in Metro Manila and 36 percent outside Metro Manila, according to the NSWMC.

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