The environmental group Greenpeace welcomed the enactment of the
Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 during formal signing
ceremonies led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the
Malacañang Palace today.
Francis Dela Cruz, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Toxics Campaigner
said, “The Act sets the correct policy direction that puts prime
importance on efforts to avoid solid waste and reduce its volume by
segregation, composting and recycling. The biggest challenge now is
to match these words with actions.”
The group called for the new government of President
Macapagal-Arroyo to lead by example and immediately implement an
ecological solid waste management program in Malacañang.
Greenpeace, likewise, criticized efforts by some government
officials and interest groups to revoke the Clean Air Act’s
provision banning waste incineration. “If the government can afford
to fast-track the construction of landfills and dumpsites, why not
apply the same determination to the pursuit of the right
solutions,” according to Von Hernandez, Greenpeace Campaign
Director for Southeast Asia.
A study  commissioned by Greenpeace estimates that if Metro
Manila implements a genuine waste reduction program, the metropolis
would be able to recycle and compost at least 30% of its projected
waste in 2005, and 60% of the region’s total waste by 2010. The
amounts of waste going to recycling and composting also represent
avoided costs of waste disposal, which could effectively translate
into increased resources for other local government priorities.
“As long as our officials remain obsessed with quick-fixes, we
will never break free from the waste crisis which has now become a
periodic burden for our citizens. We hope that the Act will provide
the impetus for government to innovate lasting solutions, anchored
on ecological and democratically managed waste management programs
that will put the garbage crisis into the dustbin of history,”
Notes:  “Wasting and Recycling in Metro Manila, ” by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Washington. D.C., 2000, commissioned by Greenpeace Southeast Asia