IT WAS reported on the newspaper that Davao Region lacks 47 sanitary landfills. There are only two sanitary landfills in the region, which is composed of five provinces with six cities and more than 30 municipalities. The ideal ratio should be one landfill per LGU.
The huge deficit, according to the Department of Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) has to be addressed. The two landfills are located in Davao City and Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos). A specialist in a Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS) reported that Davao City generates 900 tons per day making it the biggest waste generator in Davao Region. Every person in the city contributes half a kilogram of garbage waste per day. He also said that of the 182 barangays in the city, only 112 are reached by the garbage trucks of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro).
The research also revealed that 50% of the generated garbage of the city is biodegradable or capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms. For this reason all concerned citizens should start segregating garbage from their homes to biodegradable and non-biodegradable. The biodegradable can be made into fertilizers for plants or used to produce biogas. The non-biodegradable waste are classified like newspapers, cardboards, plastics, bottles, and cans, among others are sold at the junk stores which also being sold to interested buyers.
Recycling is the key to make garbage find its proper place where it can be useful. Notice push carts regularly going from house to house to gather these. Everything is made useful again -- metals are recycled at the factories while plastics are melted to be recycled into something else like school desks. Others recycle them into artworks and toys. We reach the point where every element of the supposed useless garbage are made useful again.
All the remaining substances definitely not useful anymore will find their way to the sanitary landfills. These are hollow places in the city designated by geologists. These are surrounded by cemented walls with canals or holes in strategic places where water can be siphoned so as not to erode the ground. These walls will prevent the leachate, the juicy substance emanating from the garbage piles, going to the soil where it will pollute it.
A reminder to the citizens, practice the 3R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. When we practice these with discipline, we can achieve a zero-waste environment.