DENR Bans Backyard Burning of Garbage

From Inquirer Article: DENR Bans Backyard Burning of Garbage

One of my qualms about living here in the provinces is the big problem of garbage collection. I don't know about the rest of the barangays here in the City of Lipa, but for us here in Barangay Tangway, garbage collection is virtually zero.

It's your problem to dispose of it.

My family of 7 consumes a hefty amount of plastic from goods that we buy in the groceries and the market. Although there's been a ban on plastic bags for all commercial establishments - certain exceptions seem to be making the rounds of the city.

For example, convenience stores specially in the market can still package the goods you bought provided that the plastic used are the "handle-less" type of clear plastics. It's a stupid exception, but I think much of that has to do with matigas na ulo of traders and market vendors.

Plastic is plastic, period.

For our part, we bought the reusable eco-bags and bring them to Robinson's Lipa whenever we do the groceries. But there's still a lot of plastic around. Almost every consumer good is packaged in plastic. From cooking oil, noodles, soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, flavors and meat are still packaged in plastic.

On second thought, that may have been the origin of the exception. People still haven't gotten around to packaging meat aside from plastic. Some vendors might have pointed this out, and hence clear plastics got a go signal.

Temporary Solutions
Our temporary solution is to segregate plastic garbage and then bury it under the ground. Even then, our dump is slowly becoming bigger - creating our own mini-dumpsite. For now, incineration is still the only logical and feasible way to dispose of garbage. Our situation is even unique because we have plenty of space to do so. Our neighbors, which typically have smaller lots have no choice but to burn garbage.

I Still Support the No Burning Garbage Policy... BUT
I totally support the DENR and wish to see a future where nobody burns garbage, but it has to be done and enforced in a way that provides a suitable and free of cost way to ordinary citizens. It's easier to follow the law that the government creates if it has already provided a solution to the problem and has not encumbered ordinary citizens with the task of figuring it out for themselves.

Admittedly, we also burn garbage but we try to keep it at a minimum of once every week - every Saturday to be precise. 

Parang jaywalking, less people would jaywalk if there are pedestrian overpasses and even more people would use the overpass if it has an escalator.

Update: Oct. 12, 2012 Lipa City
Today, we had to send one of my daughters to the doctor because of incessant coughing and colds. It could be a combination of factors from the onset of the cold season to our relocated neighbors' continuous burning of garbage. Some of them actually say that it's their 3 o clock habit - to ward off mosquitoes with the smoke to prevent Dengue. Since our large lot is adjacent to several households - about 15, when it's 3 PM - all of them start smoking.

My daughter has been diagnosed with Bronchitis and speaking with some Barangay officials to complain about the incessant burning led me to the dead end - that there are no funds for garbage collection. This despite the fact that Lipa City is earning quite a bit from tax revenue from the new malls: SM Lipa City, Robinsons Mall, and Fiesta Mall.

So why is there no garbage collection facility in some barangays here in Lipa?

I searched on Google for some answers and it led me to quite a bit of sad quandary - many people already know about the garbage situation here in Lipa City - but it appears that there are no funds for garbage trucks.

I will copy and paste some information here:

The Community-based Solid Waste Management Project in Sitio San Nicolas
1. Lipa City’s Solid Waste Management Problem
Solid waste is the most visible of Lipa’s environmental problems such that the Mayor considered its solution as one the flagship programs of her administration.  

The Environmental Profile and the City Environmental Consultation in November 1999 identified the causes of the problem as: 

  • The increase in solid waste generation due to rapid industrialization and urbanization of the city; 
  • The un-segregated waste dumped by residents and commuters in the main roads, creeks, rivers, and vacant lots; 
  • The prevalence of burning of garbage in the city proper; 
  • The absence of material recovery facility in most of the urban barangays due to unavailability of vacant lots; 
  • The ineffective enforcement of local sanitation ordinances and national environmental laws on solid waste management and
  • The absence of available site for controlled dump facility and eventually for sanitary landfill. 

Furthermore, I stumbled upon some sort of petition grant for a garbage truck started by the Rotary Club of Lipa City. Over at this website:

This project aims to grant a reconditioned dump truck that will serve as a wheel for proper trash/garbage collection and disposal in several barangays of Lipa City, Batangas. This will benefit more than 600 to 800 families in the locality. Long term effect would be a clean healthy and friendly environment not only for the local community but for the travelers as well. This will diminish several community-acquired diseases associated with dirty environment which serves as good breeding places for mosquitoes, rodents, flies and cockroaches causing dengue fever, malaria, leptospirosis intestinal parasitism and other respiratory diseases respectively.

Proposed project implementation will take at least 3 to 4 months once funds are available.

Why does the Rotary Club of Lipa City have to ask for donations? Isn't this the job of the City Government of Lipa?

More Temporary Solutions
According to several sources and a NASA study on plants that improve indoor air quality, If done in a correct way, cleaner air could be manufactured. Watch the TED talks video:

Also cited:

How to grow Snake Plant or Mother in Law's Tongue Sansivieria Trifasciata