By Samuel M. Toledo
LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 14 (PNA) The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) has identified four municipalities in the region to be the beneficiaries of the materials recovery facility (MRF) this year in order to increase the waste diversion rate and strengthen the local government units' (LGUs) practice of waste management.
The Environmental Management Bureau V of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-EMB V) through its Solid Waste Management Section (SWMS), conducted a dialogue with concerned local officials last Aug. 8 in Legazpi City to discuss the putting up of MRF.
Despite the passage of Republic Act 9003, otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, solid waste and its proper management remain one of the major environmental problems of the country, EMB Bicol Director Roberto Sheen, said.
Sheen explained that less than half of the LGUs in the country have completed and implemented ecological solid waste management programs even as the amount of solid waste to be managed increases each year as growing population and economic growth becomes highly imminent.
The MRF is an area where collected waste materials are stored until they are sold to recyclers or processed for composting.
Based on Section 32 of RA 9003, every barangay or cluster of barangays should establish a MRF that will receive household-generated wastes to segregate and recyclable materials from residual waste, Sheen said.
The MRF recipients are Bacacay town and Tabaco City in Albay; San Pascual in Masbate; San Vicente in Camarines Norte; and Milaor in Camarines Sur.
The LGUs will be the one to determine which barangays in the recipient towns and city would be serviced by the MRFs, and where these will be installed.
The EMB V, through the Ecological Solid Waste Management Commission (ESWMC), will be the agency to monitor the MRFs.
This is one of the measures we are conducting so that LGUs will be further encouraged to practice proper waste segregation and increase their awareness and compliance to RA 9003. We are looking forward for the positive effects of this project, Sheen added.
The beneficiaries were identified through the following criteria: willingness of the LGU to support the program, cluster of at least three barangays or a minimum total waste volume of one ton a day.
The LGU should also have existing practice of segregation at source and segregated collection, available area for MRF, area is big enough for the two MRF components (composting and segregated storage), availability of Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS) data, ability to divert at least 50 percent from the total waste volume, can tie-up with buyers/recyclers and percentage of waste diversion rate, Sheen said.(PNA)