Binangonan, Rizal: A Study on Solid Waste Management and Recycling
Binangonan, Rizal: A Study on Solid Waste Management and Recycling
The Philippines is one of the countries that can be found in Southeast Asia. Located at the top of Malaysia and Indonesia, and at the bottom of Taiwan, the Philippine archipelago encompasses 7, 107 islands wherein only 2,00 of them is inhabited. The archipelago is situated between the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea, and stretches 1, 800 km. form north to south and 1, 100 km. form east to west. With the total land area of 30 million hectares, the country houses 85 million people. In the recent years, the Philippine population has significantly increased. This rapid population growth has directly affected the volume of solid wastes in the country. Lack of adequate disposal sites and inadequate solid waste management systems became more apparent. Wastes are being disposed along streets, empty lots, and even in bodies of water throughout the country. Scavenging for recyclable materials also became very common in and around the Philippine islands, which made the situation of solid waste management more serious (DiNisco, n.d; Gaac, n.d; Mair, n.d). Needless to say, solid waste management became a major problem in many parts of the country.
Rizal is a province in Region IV-A CALABARZON. The province is stationed 20 km. east of Manila. It has a total land area of 1, 175.8 km2 and is composed of 13 municipalities and one city. Binangonan is one of these municipalities. It is located at the southern part of the province and lies in the shores of Laguna de Bay. The municipality is divided into mainland (5, 820.55 hectares) and Talim Islands (1, 449.45 hectares). With the total of 7, 270 hectares, Binangonan is considered as the fifth biggest municipality in the province.
Today, the lack of active sanitary landfills poses a lot of problems on solid waste management in the Philippines. The closure of the biggest disposal site located in Manila in 2000 has undoubtedly contributed to this (DiNisco, n.d; Gaac, n.d; Mair, n.d). Though there are those highly progressive communities that implements composting, recycling and material recovery, and quite progressive communities with controlled dumps that bury wastes, still there are those small communities in the country that stick to open dumping and open burning to dispose their solid wastes. And worst, there are still communities in the more remote areas where solid waste is managed at the household level because of inexistence of community-wide solid waste collection and disposal services. Unfortunately, the Municipality of Binangonan in Rizal can be found between the third and the fourth category.
Garbage collection in the municipality is really a big problem that’s why 15% of the waste discharges is illegally burned or dumped in open lots or disposed into rivers and creeks. Moreover, specific containers for waste discharges are no particular. The wastes are just placed in different kinds of containers such as plastic bags, sacks, drums and bamboo baskets. Hence, segregation together with its rules and regulations is not being practiced in the municipality. But that was 13 years ago; during the early part of 1998 when the road going to the municipal dumpsite was still rough and the number of garbage trucks as well as the programs for proper solid waste management and disposal still lacks.
After 13 years of battling with solid waste management problems, the municipality has finally come up with their Ecological Solid Waste Management Plan aiming to reduce the municipality’s solid waste disposal off to 25% for the first five years of the implementation and a 10% increment for every three years thereafter. The program includes enhancing public awareness on solid waste management, targeting audience from public and private schools, professionals, transport sector, market vendors, religious groups and household; intensifying waste reduction through re-use, recycling and composting; and strengthening proper waste disposal that includes collection and transfer of wastes to the municipal Material Recovery Facility (MRF).
The program begins strengthening awareness through installation of billboards at strategic places. The municipality also distributes flyers and posters showing waste characterization. Public consultation with pilot barangays and public market, and separate public hearings with the selected targeted audience are also being conducted. Furthermore, search for cleanest and greenest barangay in Binangonan has started. Each barangay are also encouraged to create their own Solid Waste Management (SWM) committee. For intensifying re-use, recycling and composting, and strengthening proper waste disposal, on the other hand, Binangonan has plan to enforce segregation of solid waste at source. They begin to have separate schedules for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste collection. The solid wastes are deposited at the established Municipal MRF at the Bunot Controlled Dumpsite where the biodegradable are composted while the non-biodegradable especially the plastics are pulverized and made into hollow blocks, ornamental blocks and other possible products. Also, the road going to the dumpsite is already concreted and additional garbage trucks are procured.
The Ecological Waste Management Plan of the municipality doesn’t just stop there. Binangonan has also developed Monitoring and Evaluation System to assess and ensure the implementation of the program. For monitoring, the municipality mandates every barangay to create its own SWM committee. These SWM committees shall formulate their own SWM program consistent with the Municipal SWM Plan. These committees are also obliged to submit monthly report of their program to their municipality. Meanwhile, for evaluation, the municipality divided the effects of the Ecological Waste Management Plan into two categories. The first category focuses on the program’s physical/ chemical effects which is concerned on the reduction of common reported environmental health problems related to solid waste, and lessening the possibility of ground water contamination due to leachate. The second category is focused on aesthetics and visual effects of the program. This category is composed of garbage free environment, reduced water pollution, prevented flash flooding, increased presence of eco-parks, and most importantly, improved general health of the citizens and of the environment.
The problem on solid waste management has significantly increased together with the population of the Philippines in the recent years. The need for adequate solid waste management system and facilities in the country is great, especially in many small communities that cannot afford to fund even the construction of a composting infrastructure. Nevertheless, Binangonan was able to provide solutions to the solid waste management problems of its community with its limited budget from the government. The municipality is implementing Ecological Waste Management Plan aimed at enhancing public awareness on solid waste management, intensifying waste reduction, and strengthening proper waste disposal. Having been implemented for two years, the municipality was able to improve the percentage of waste collected and disposed off the dumpsites. Overall, the Municipality of Binangonan in the province of Rizal has succeeded and survived the challenges posed by solid waste management and disposal in its community.
List of References
DiNisco M, Gaac G and A. Mair n.d., Solid Waste Management in the Philippines: A small island experience, accessed May 29, 2011, http://www.environcorp.com/img/media/SWM_Philippines_Paper.pdf.
Solid Waste Management, n.d., accessed May 29, 2011, http://www.binangonan.gov.ph/index.html.
Rizal, (June 2011), accessed May 29, 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rizal