By Mario Casayuran
The government’s solid waste policy of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ (3Rs) is a failure.
This after Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday expressed dismay over a report by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that only 30 percent of barangays nationwide, or an estimated 12,614 out of 42,045, are practicing garbage segregation.
“The 3Rs is a failure, yung reuse, reduce, recycle because only 30 percent of the barangays conduct 3Rs, 70 percent ay tinatapon lang sa kung saan-saan,” Gatchalian stressed. (The 70 percent throws it anywhere.)
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, called out the DENR for failing to fully implement the Solid Waste Management Act with 331 illegal dumpsites still operational in the country.
Part of the DENR’s mandate is to close illegal dumpsites.
He said he believes that it is now the time for the government to consider the adoption of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facilities in the treatment and disposal of solid waste.
Gatchalian’s measure, Senate Bill 363, or the Waste-to-Energy Act (WTE Act), seeks to provide a framework for the entire value chain of WTE facilities, and in turn, ensure the uninterrupted supply of waste as feedstock.
The senator believes that the immediate passage of the WTE Act would not only encourage the development of new technologies in the treatment and disposal of solid waste, it also supports the expansion of bioenergy to attain sustainable energy.
Meanwhile, Gatchalian has pressed the DENR, Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to come up with their own collaborative study to look at the capacity, potential for energy and environmental concerns for them to have some preliminary idea on how energy can solve our solid waste issues in the country.