EcoWaste Coalition Hits Massive New Year Revelry Trash as “Totally Unacceptable, Asks the Public to Try the 3Rs Next Time

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
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.