Ocular inspections conducted by the EcoWaste Coalition’s Basura Patrol, particularly in the city of Manila, uncovered huge quantities of garbage dumped by revelers for street sweepers to clean up.
For example, Pedro Gil and Paz Sts. in Paco, Singalong and Zobel Roxas Sts. in Malate, and Carlos Palanca, Carriedo, Evangelista, R. Hidalgo and Villalobos Sts. in Quiapo were all strewn with garbage and the iconic Plaza Miranda was literally carpeted with trash.
The most visible post-revelry discards, according to volunteers, were firecracker residues, cigarette butts, plastic bags, plastic bottles, paper and plastic food wrappers, polystyrene containers, food leftovers, soiled boxes and newspapers.
“We are saddened to see how litterbugs reared their ugly heads again at the boisterous festivities to welcome the New Year,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.
“As if filling the skies with toxic dusts and fumes from firecrackers and fireworks was not enough, they left piles of rubbish on streets that could easily pack dozens of hauling trucks,” he noted.
“The unrestrained disposal we observed is obviously not a splendid way to usher 2012. It could be an ominous sign of another year of messy garbage problems,” he emphasized.
To set the ugly habit of wasting right, Filipinos from all walks of life should take on and commit to fulfilling some basic “green” New Year’s resolutions, the EcoWaste Coalition suggested.
The Irisan dumpsite avalanche last year that buried five people in garbage should serve as a stern reminder of what can happen with unchecked consumption and indiscriminate disposal, the group said.
“Many Filipinos make resolutions to serve as goals during the year and we hope they adopt some, if not all, of these ‘green’ resolutions,” Alvarez said.
1. “I will be a responsible consumer, live simply and not blindly submit to crass materialism.”
2. “I will trim down my ‘waste size’ by actively reusing and recycling my discards to the fullest.”
3. “I will say no to plastic bags and Styrofoam containers.”
4. “I will proudly use ‘bayong’ and reusable carry bags.”
5. “I will refuse to patronize overpackaged products and favor least packaged, locally-produced, eco-friendly products.”
6. “I will avoid products with toxic chemicals and refrain from throwing hazardous waste into regular bins.”
7. “I will diligently sort my discards to make reusing, recycling and composting clean and fun.”
8. “I will not burn my discards and dirty the air with health-damaging pollutants.”
9. “I will never litter, and treat my surroundings as an extension of my own home.”
10.”I will inspire and persuade at least three people to switch to greener and healthier lifestyle.”
According to government data, Metro Manila generates up to 8,600 tons of waste per day, which is equivalent to about 25% of the national waste production of some 35,000 tons daily.
Some 30 to 50 percent of discards generated all over the country get collected and disposed of in 643 open dumpsites, 384 controlled dumpsites and 38 landfills nationwide.