Quezon City, 12 August 2014.Green groups delivered their final warning to “stubborn” waste commission over the latter’s insistence to push for waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration.
Led by the EcoWaste Coalition, some 100 zero waste advocates, representing various organizations, flocked to the environment department today to, once and for all, demand the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) to drop all plans to stubbornly push WTE incineration, because it violates and belittles the very law the NSWMC itself is mandated to promote, no other than the Republic Act 9003.
R.A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 explicitly mandates to "Ensure the proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of solid waste through the formulation and adoption of the best environmental practices in ecological waste management excluding incineration” (Sec. 2, d).
"We are not against resource recovery, including the generation of energy from wastes; R.A. 9003 allows this,” exclaimed Sonia Mendoza, Vice President of EcoWaste Coalition and current Chairman of Mother Earth Foundation.
“In fact, we promote resource recovery, but it should NOT employ incineration, an example is anaerobic digestion, where methane from the controlled decomposition of biodegradable wastes are collected as energy,” Mendoza added.
“Pyrolysis, gasification, plasma arc, cement kilns, and other waste incineration technologies are what we vehemently oppose, since they inevitably release toxic substances to the environment posing serious health and environmental hazards, destroy finite resources, and kill our thriving recycling industry,“ Mendoza further said.
For her part, EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator, Aileen Lucero, maintained that “there are no quick fixes to our garbage woes. The solution really is the full enforcement of the 13 year old R.A. 9003.”
“If wastes are dealt with according to the law, only a mere 2 to 4% of generated wastes would be available for incinerators to burn, which makes WTE incineration highly unworkable,” Lucero added
“The NSWMC cannot afford to violate the very law that created it, rather, it should focus all its energies on upholding R.A. 9003. If it insists on WTE incineration, then we will deal with it accordingly,” Lucero concluded.
Cavite Green Coalition, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Health Care Without Harm, Lasallian Community Development Center, Miriam PEACE, Mother Earth Foundation, November 17 Movement, Philippine Earth Justice Center, and Zero Waste Philippines are among the organizations that strongly backed the call.