“I am proud to report that the Philippine Senate has been able to reduce by as much as 50% the volume of garbage it generates following its successful implementation of a solid waste management program,” Senator Pia S. Cayetano reported today.
Cayetano had pushed for the establishment of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and the implementation of Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (RA 9003) in the Upper Chamber as early as the 13th Congress when she was then Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and Co-Chair of the Congressional Oversight Committee on the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
“I felt it was very important for the very institution that passed Solid Waste Management Act to be at the forefront and to be a model among government offices in implementing the law and raising awareness about it among its staff and employees,” she stressed.
The MRF was established by the Senate at its parking lot last year upon the initiative of Cayetano, in partnership with the environmentalist group, Mother Earth Foundation. An MRF is defined under RA 9003 as a drop-off center for solid waste where these are further sorted and collected. The MRF also functions as a recycling and composting facility.
Following the establishment of the MRF, Cayetano’s office sponsored a series of workshops and hands-on training on solid waste segregation and management for members of the Senate staff and Secretariat. Last February, a ‘No Waste Segregation, No Waste Collection’ policy was instituted by the Senate Secretariat which required employees to classify their office waste into biodegradables and non-biodegradables and to dispose the same in their designated trash bins.
Citing reports from the General Services Department, the office directly involved in the maintenance of all physical facilities of the Senate, Cayetano noted that the residual waste being churned out by the institution has been effectively reduced by half during the past month.
Meanwhile, the frequency of garbage collection, which the Senate contracts out to a private hauling services company, has been reduced from once a week to only once every two weeks, or as the need arises.
“In a little over a month, the Senate has been able to lessen its garbage by half as employees and staff became more conscious about segregating, recycling and reusing waste in their respective offices.”