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close this bookIdeas for Action : Save, Recycle and Do Not Pollute (IIRR, 1992, 146 p.)
close this folderRecycling/waste disposal
View the documentWhere to go to recycle in and around metro manila
View the documentProper solid waste management

Proper solid waste management

Refuse produced by communities is called solid waste. It includes garbage from households, companies, schools, businesses, hospitals and laboratories. Tons of refuse which are collected in urban centers are brought to dumpsites, while the uncollected wastes thrown elsewhere. This waste clogs drainage canals and manholes and pollutes esteros and the natural water system.

Improper waste disposal causes diseases and pollution that pose great dangers to health. One way to help solve this problem is to be conscious of how you manage your waste.

· Classify garbage as wet and dry.

Classify garbage as wet and dry

Wet garbage are: animal feeds and organic compostibles.

- Animal feeds are household wastes such as vegetable leftovers or others that can be used as feeds for animals, especially swine.

- Organic compostibles are organic materials that can not be used a animal feeds but could be turned into compost, such as rotting fruits and vegetables, peelings, twigs, leaves, etc.

Dry garbage may either be organic or inorganic, as metals, rags, paper, cardboard, bottles, plastics, wood pieces, glass, etc. These may be subclassified as:

- Factory returnables. Items that factories can recycle, such as broken glass and bottles, plastics, paper cardboard, metals. etc.

- Arts and crafts materials. Items which can be used in handicrafts, such as paper mache, trinkets, etc.

- Combustible materials. Wastes from wood and tree branches and even leaves that can be used as fuel.

- Filling materials. Generally, all dry garbage can be used as filling for road ruts and holes and low ground. Construction throw-aways like concrete materials and slabs are called panambak and are good filling materials.

· Minimize wastes as follows:

- Buy things that are only necessary. Invest in durables. Take advantage of repairs, refills and rechargeables. For example, purchase rechargeable batteries (initial investment of P450-500) that have a life span of 3-5 years, rather than continually buying dry cell batteries.

- Bring a tote or shopping bag with you at all times.

- Avoid products with elaborate packaging.

- Reuse paper, cardboard and other paper producst. (Used paper can be made into charcoal balls.)

- Reuse glass, plastic or metal containers for storage and or wrapping purposes. (e.g., soft/flexible plastics can be made into ropes, pillow-cushions, doormat, etc.; empty tetrapacks can be used as seedling banks or planters.

· Donate recyclables to charitable groups or to those who need them most.

· Sell reusables and recyclables to pushcart boys (magbobote-dyaryo) or junk shops in your neighborhood.

· Store dry garbage in proper places for future use.

· Convert your kitchen into a mini-recycling center. Place animal feed items in plastic or metal containers that do not leak and have fitting covers.

· Compost organic materials. Build a backyard compost pit or install a home-composter.

· Share the recycling experience with your family members, classmates, neighbors and friends in the workplace or community.

· Organize a recycling or clean-up program in your community.

Junk shop

Waste disposal management can be done in different areas, in rural and in urban; and on two levels, namely the household and the community.

Waste disposal in the rural area is more environment-friendly, meaning you can easily classify and provide space for the garbage. Everything can be done at the right time and in the right places, like:

· A compost pit can be easily constructed.

· The consumption of junk food with elaborate packaging should be regulated.

· Household leftovers are used as animal feeds, provided to pigs or chickens.

· Biogas technology, even at the household level, can be installed. (It's important to note that biogas requires as much as 25 kg of waste material per day to be implemented.)

· Communities can be organized to undertake recycling projects. For example, a barrio can establish a central recycling center to collect all recycleable items from the households.

Compost pit and home composter

In contrast, solid waste management in the urban area requires a massive education campaign to enable people to act accordingly. Problems like lack of time and space may be a deterrent to pursue recycling in households.


Based on a workshop discussion with Dr. Emma A. Pujalte of IRRREN (International Resource Recovery and Recycling Network)

Ideas for Action:

A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28, 1992