AN OFFICIAL from the Netherlands said the Cagayan de Oro City Government needs to focus and study some methods of proper waste management.

A group of environmentalist, Programma Uitzending Managers (PUM) Netherlands, whose members are experts from different fields, were in Cagayan de Oro for a two-week visit giving advices on waste management.

Bertus Van Heugten, PUM coordinator said waste disposal has now become a problem in the city and proper means of disposal is crucial to public health and environment.

Heugten emphasized that the local government must do more to educate people in proper waste disposal and recycling, and not only to focus on big projects such as infrastructures.

He added that the City Government needs to study some methods of proper waste management like an incinerator that transforms waste to energy, composting, managing landfills or recycling.

Heugten said composting, a process where plants and organic wastes are broken down biologically to produce a nutrient-rich material, is the most inexpensive way because it is a natural process that people can do in their own backyard.

He also said landfills would definitely be the most effective way in Cagayan de Oro but it would require evacuation of the residents and needs proper designing and lining techniques to prevent pollution of adjoining lands.

On the other hand, he said recycling, reuse and reduce are the best ways of waste management as it helps in reducing pollution, saving natural resources and conserving energy.

He recalled that in the year 2000, Philippines has a good law regarding recycling but was not properly implemented, saying “all the effort has put to waste.”

PUM have roamed around the world, especially the developing countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia.

Heugten said they have been doing the rounds of environmental advocacy, particularly on solid waste management, due to the increasing population and industrialization in most countries.

PUM has been specifically helping small and medium enterprises, institutions and developing businesses in their waste management.