jueves, 11 de agosto de 2016

Best Practices on Solid Waste Management

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) held it first summit on Best Practices on Solid Waste Management in the Cordilleras last July 27 to 29, 2016 in Baguio. Representatives from Local Government Units, Non-Government Organizations and individuals participated in the summit. There were more than three hundred (300) participants. DENR launched its search for best practices two months ago. Among the NGOs who were recognized in implementing Republic Act 2003, the law passed in the year 2000 on Solid Waste Management were Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary and Mountain Maid Training Center. Dr. Julie Cabato known for her advocacy in protecting the environment was also an awardee.

Mr. Jessie Opilas, our “vermi man” and Sr. Guadalupe Bautista represented Mt. Maid Training Center in the summit.

Included in the presentation of our power point were the following points:

In 2008, the Irisan dumpsite reached it breaking point and collapsed causing the loss of lives and properties in Irisan. This prompted us to seriously manage our “trash” and lessen the garbage collected by the city government.

The education and training of staff and student workers; the setting up of Material Resources Facilities; the sorting of recyclables and sold to junk shops; the introduction of African Night Crawlers for vermi composting were concrete actions to live the Province ‘s vision of “fullness of life where there is justice, peace and integrity of creation”.

Peelings of vegetables and fruits from the canteen, hostel and con vent kitchens plus the heaps of ube or purple yam discards amounted to three (3) tons a week! During peak seasons of the Flower Festival (February), Holy Week (April) and Christmas the biodegradable waste reach five tons a week. How to manage all this organic wastes? The answer was feed the waste to “Eugene” the friendly worm and transform its waste into organic fertilizer.

Other steps taken were the installations of solar water heaters and solar lights. Savings on electric bills is 30%.

The discipline of sorting trash is on-going and never ending.

‘Laudato Si’, Pope Francis encyclical on the environment continues to challenge us to protect the environment and save our planet, the only home we have.

(By Sr. M. Guadalupe Bautista, RGS - Baguio City)

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