(Last of two parts)
Latest data from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) showed that Quezon City, also one of the most populous in the National Capital Region, produces the largest volume of garbage daily.
Quezon City yields 386.84 tons or 12,730.59 cubic meters of trash per day, followed by Manila with 1,151.79 tons per day (7,500.07 cubic meters/day), and Caloocan City with 891.64 tons per day (3,966.38 cubic meter/day).
The tiny municipality of Pateros has the lowest volume of waste thrown by residents, at only 29.06 tons per day.
Ares Gutierrez, chief of the Quezon City public affairs office, said “Quezon City is the biggest city in the National Capital Region in land area and population, hence the big volume of garbage produced.”
The Manila Times contacted Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s spokesman, Bambi Purisima, but he has yet to reply.
Caloocan City public information chief Nolan Sison said MMDA’s data was not surprising since Caloocan City has the third biggest population in Metro Manila.
Authorities should thus look at the correlation between population and garbage volumes, Sison said.
Manila, QC fare poorly in collection, disposal
Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition, said Manila and Quezon City were also the most problematic in terms of garbage collection and disposal, citing an EcoWaste Coalition study.
The study used Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act as a guide in determining which cities were poor performers in waste collection, reduction, segregation and disposal.
Lucero said the cities of Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Pasig, Makati and Malabon made some improvements in garbage collection and disposal.
Gutierrez however maintained that “Quezon City has an efficient waste management system.”
“Walang tiwangwang na basura sa (There is no uncollected garbage in) Quezon City. Even Payatas (dumping area was) shut.”
Lucero said “the steady rise in the volume of the trash generated in Metro Manila indicates inadequate waste segregation [at] source, recycling and composting.”
“Our households, businesses and institutions need to improve on our current waste prevention and reduction practices to cut the volume of residuals requiring disposal,” Lucero said.
RA 9003, she said, must be enforced with decisiveness and with strong political will, and requires and throwing away the negative mindset of all stakeholders, including the public.