Photos taken by the EcoWaste Coalition at Juan Luna corner Ylaya, M. de Santos and Sto. Cristo Streets, Divisoria, Manila on December 31 between 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.
Zero waste advocates press for waste prevention and reduction at their New Year eco-action in Divisoria.
The environmental watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition decried the unrestrained garbage disposal following the New Year revelry as “totally unacceptable” amid the unfolding era of climate change.
In the aftermath of the boisterous festivities, Metro Manila’s streets were again dotted with stinking rubbish that in some areas might even take days for the garbage crew to clear, the group lamented.
“After all the holiday shopping and partying, we find our household bins bulging at the seams and the streets strewn with garbage waiting to be swept away and hauled to the dumpsite,” noted Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“The ugly sight and stench of mixed ‘holitrash’ (short for holiday trash) left on street corners and market areas can make one’s stomach turn,” she said.
Firecracker remnants, disposable food containers, plastic and other packaging wastes, and food leftovers were among the common items disposed of in large quantities.
“Worst, we see this dreadful trashing of the environment happening on the first day of the annual Zero Waste Month in January. This is ironic and totally unacceptable,” she added.
President Benigno S. Aquino through Proclamation No. 760 has declared every month of January as Zero Waste Month “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.”
To dramatize the need to shift towards a Zero Waste society, Lucero and her team went to Recto Avenue in Divisoria, Manila on New Year's Day and unfurled a paper banner on top of a garbage mound that says: “Next Time: Try the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).”
The EcoWaste Coalition also went to Divisoria on December 31 and took photos of widespread littering in the area with some streets like Sto. Cristo and M. de Santos Sts. literally covered with garbage.
“In the midst of a changing climate, we can no longer continue maltreating Mother Nature as a limitless source of raw materials for our needs and wants, and as a vast landfill for wastes and toxics,” Lucero said.
“Our wastefulness is already taking its toll on public health and the environment with garbage choking not only our communities, but even our rivers and seas,” she added.
The EcoWaste Coalition also pointed out that waste disposal costs a huge chunk of taxpayers’ money.
Citing the 2013 year-end report of the Commission on Audit, Metro Manila’s local government units (LGUs) spent some P4.221 billion for garbage hauling expenses.
Among the top five spenders were Quezon City, P999.590 million; Manila City, P512.564; Makati City, P440.157 million; Caloocan City, P421.921 million; and Pasay City, P376.135 million.
“That’s a lot of money going to the dumps,” Lucero said.
As per projection by the National Solid Waste Management Commission, Metro Manila’s waste generation of 9,060 tons per day in 2015 will rise to more than 9,213 tons per day in 2016. At the national level, the daily waste generation of 39,422 in 2015 will increase to 40,087 tons per day in 2016.