Environmental and health advocates today pushed candidates for the upcoming general elections to put sustainable waste management solutions on top of their electoral platforms and to walk their talk by running a trash-less campaign.
At the opening of the two-day 2nd Zero Waste Fair at Rizal Park, public interest groups expressed the need for the country's politicos to step out of the usual "hakot-tambak-sunog" approach to managing garbage and to support Zero Waste solutions to tackle pollution and build local economies.
"We want those seeking elective posts to commit to solving our mounting garbage problems through the adoption, promotion and financing of Zero Waste strategies that will eliminate the pressure to build costly incinerators and landfills," said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
As the campaign period for the presidential, vice-presidential, senatorial and congressional posts, as well as for party list representatives, is about to start on February 9, the groups also called on all candidates to shun wasteful election-related activities.
"We want all candidates and their supporters to run their campaigns in a manner that will not harm the environment with wastes and toxics. Environmental and climate protection must take center stage in the 2016 polls," said Sonia Mendoza, Chairman, Mother Earth Foundation
Zero Waste strategies, including separating discards at source, reusing, recycling and composting, have been proven effective in reducing garbage volume and toxicity and in conserving energy and resources, while creating decent jobs and livelihoods for families and communities.
The groups cited studies in US indicating that recycling and composting create 10 to 20 times as many jobs as incinerators and landfills, and conserve 3 to 5 times the energy that incinerators waste. In terms of toxic emissions, the groups said that incinerators emit more carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour than coal-fired power plants, and that they emit up to 14 times more mercury.
The 2nd Zero Waste Fair is a focal point of this year's celebration of January as Zero Waste Month, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation (PP) No. 760, signed by President Benigno Aquino III on 5 May 2014.
According to PP No. 760, "Zero waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use."
The Zero Waste Fair is organized by the EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Health Care Without Harm Asia and Mother Earth Foundation in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Metro Manila Development Authority, National Park Development Committee and the National Solid Waste Management Commission.
In line with the theme"Posible ang Zero Waste, Kaya Nating Gawin!" (Zero Waste is Possible, We Can Do It!), civil society and local government participants organized booths showcasing various waste prevention and reduction initiatives.
Among the governmental participants were Bacoor and Muntinlupa Cities, and the MMDA 2014 Barangay Power winners for the best solid waste management system from Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, Quezon and Taguig Cities.
Civil society participants included the Bituen Arts, Culture, Events and Communications Organization; Cycling Advocates; Environmental Resource Management Center; Junk Not; Médecins du Monde; Tzu Chi Foundation and the Zero Waste Recycling Movement of the Philippines.
Morris, Jeffrey, Comparative LCAs for curbside recycling versus for curbside recycling versus either landfilling or incineration with energy recovery, International landfilling or incineration with energy recovery, International Journal of Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 10 4 (2005) 273 Life Cycle Assessment 10 4 (2005) 273 -284