Solid Waste Management Act

Article excerpt

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary (DENR) Jose L. Atienza Jr. said that after Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act was passed in 2001, only one or two LGUs have complied with certain provisions of the law.

"Open dumpsites are the biggest violators of Republic Act 9003. These dumpsites generate 20 percent more carbon dioxide (CO2 or equivalent in methane) than other pollutants. We will serve notice to LGUs. If they still don't comply, we'll start filing charges (after 12 months)," said Atienza.

Despite non-compliance, he said that with the threat of global warming, more people have become aware of the importance of managing their garbages, prompting LGUs like Quezon City to adopt new technologies on cutting greenhouse gas.

"(Quezon City) Mayor (Feliciano) Belmonte is already into waste to energy," he said.

DENR has set up a Green Court that will ensure fast litigation of cases against violation on RA 9003 and other environment-related laws.

"Prosecution under the Green Courts is now in place," he said.

Based on DENR monitoring, there are more than 1,000 open dump sites in the country out of 1,600 municipalities. These open dump total to 40 in Region 2; 66, Region 3; 35, Region 4A; 36, Region 4B; 124, Region 7; 77; Region 8; 19, Region 9; 35, Region 10; 36, Region 13; and 10, Cordillera Administrative Region.

RA 9003 mandates that LGUs should implement segregation of waste (biodegradable, nonbiodegradable, hazardous), recycling of reusable materials like plastic, paper, and metals, and the composting of biodegradable materials that can be used as fertilizer.

Atienza also admitted that an education program also have to be carried out to help LGUs comply with the law.

However, RA 9003 provided for an education program under the National Solid Waste Management Commission. …