EcoWaste Coalition Pushes for Ecological Post-Flooding Cleanup

  A waste and pollution watchdog exhorted affected households, establishments
and communities to minimize trash as they clean up the mess left by the floods
spawned by southwest monsoon and tropical storm “Mario.”

In a statement, the EcoWaste Coalition expressed sympathy with the flood victims
in Metro Manila and other regions as the group reminded all citizens of the
many benefits of retrieving, reusing and recycling post-disaster waste.

“Please refrain from haphazardly throwing your discards and instead salvage
those that can still be put to good use,” reminded Tin Vergara, Zero Waste
Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“It may be convenient to throw everything to the bin and wait for the waste
collector to come, but this will not truly solve the problem,” she emphasized.

“By exerting a little effort to sort your discards for recycling, we reduce the
volume of residual trash that is sent for final disposal,” she added.

Ecological post-disaster cleanup means reduced workload and occupational hazard
for waste and sanitation personnel, reduced wastage, reduced dump truck trips,
as well as reduced greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and
disposal of mixed garbage, the Zero Waste alliance said.

According to the Philippine Climate Change Assessment Report, garbage is the
third biggest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, with
methane from dumpsites and landfills comprising the biggest part followed by
nitrous oxide from wastewater.

The group added that certain waste streams require special handling to prevent
the possible spread of disease, physical harm or exposure to hazardous

For instance, electronic waste (e-waste) should not be burned or dumped along
with regular trash as unsafe disposal will diffuse their toxic components such
as lead and mercury into the surroundings, harm human health and pollute the

Some of the more common e-waste in the aftermath of a disaster include flood-soaked
radio and TV sets and other electrical appliances and gadgets, busted
fluorescent lamps and spent batteries, the group noted.