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One of the major responsibilities of the Philippine local governments is

Solid Waste Management. Such task is dependent upon the selection and
application of appropriate technical solutions for waste collection, transfer,
recycling and disposal. Public health and well-being, and the quality and
sustainability of the urban environment are some of the consequences of the
solid waste management. Appropriate waste management solutions vary
from one locality to another. This paper examines the operation of the
Navotas Sanitary Landfill whether or not Republic Act 8749 and Republic Act
9003 is properly implemented and the said measures adopted by said Landfill to
implement the given Acts.

Waste generations by residents in the Philippines, especially in the urban areas, have accelerated
recently due to fast pace industrialization, urbanization and population growth. Since incineration of
solid waste is not allowed under Republic Act 9003 for the safety of human health and protection of
environment, land filling and the integrated waste management method, (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle)
are the main types of Solid Waste Management in the country.

The law also requires the mandatory segregation at source of solid waste into containers labeled
as: compostable, recyclable, non-recyclable, or special use. Collection of waste in the country is done by
the Department of Public Service, city administrator and engineering office or private haulers. Informal
waste sector are also involved in the waste collection and storage in the country. They are the itinerant
waste buyers, jumpers at collection trucks, garbage crew, and small and illegal junkshops. About 35,580
tons of garbage is generated every day in the Philippines. On the average, each person in the country
produces about 0.5 kg and 0.3 kg of garbage every day in the urban and rural areas, respectively. For
Metro Manila, it is estimated that 8,636 tons of garbage is generated per day, i.e., 0.7 kg per person per
day due to its more modernized lifestyle. The household is the major source of waste in the Philippines
at 74%. Moreover, of the total solid waste generated from households, 95% can still be reused or
recycled (43%), or turned into compost (52%). Only 5% is made up of residuals (4%) and
special/hazardous waste (1%) that are no longer usable or biodegradable (JICA Waste Characterization
Study, 1997).

To respond to the increasing waste problems, local government units had intensified their efforts
to make collection more efficient. Some have started to shift to a more sanitary disposal system (sanitary
landfills). While these are moves in the right direction and are necessary components of any effort to
solve the problem, by themselves, they are not enough. On January 26, 2001, President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law or Republic Act 9003. This Law
specifically sets guidelines for solid waste avoidance and volume reduction through reduction at source
and waste minimization measures that include composting, recycling, re-use before collection,
treatment, and disposal in appropriate solid waste management facilities.

The law has these important provisions:

a. Mandatory solid waste diversion rate of 25% within the next five years at the local
level. This will require each local government unit (LGU) in the next five years to
divert annually, on the average, 5% of its solid wastes away from waste disposal
facilities into resource recovery activities such as reusing, recycling, and composting.
b. Mandatory segregation of solid wastes at source to include household, institutional,
industrial, commercial, and agricultural sources. The wastes will be segregated and
properly marked as can-be-composted, non-recyclable, recyclable or special wastes.
Segregation and collection of biodegradable, can-be-composted and reusable wastes
shall be conducted at the barangay level, while collection of non-recyclable materials
and special wastes shall be the responsibility of the municipality or city.

c. Establishment of recycling and composting programs, including an inventory of

existing markets for recyclable and can-be-composted materials, the establishment
of materials recovery facilities at the local level and setting up of drop-off locations
for recyclable materials.

d. LGUs have the authority to collect solid waste management fees. The LGUs can
impose fees sufficient to pay the costs of preparing, adopting, and implementing a
solid waste management plan.