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One of the most obvious impacts of rapidly increasing urbanization and economic
development can be witnessed in the form of heaps of municipal solid waste. In the Philippines,
the accumulation of waste can be attributed to population increase, lack of public awareness, poor
management and urbanization. According to the Municipal Waste Management Report 2009
conducted by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the annual municipal waste
generated in the Philippines have reached 10,539,375 tons (Vivian M., 2016). With these, only
28% of these municipal waste are being recycled. The Philippines ranked 7th out of 16 Southeast
and East Asian countries in the annual municipal waste generation in tons by weight. Solid waste
management may be defined as the discipline associated with controlling the generation, storage,
collection, transfer and transport, processing and disposal of solid waste in a manner that is in
accordance with the best principles of health, economics, engineering, conservation, aesthetics,
and other environmental conditions (Hwa, 2007). These include monitoring, collection, transport,
processing, recycling and disposal.
Social perception and awareness have attempted to educate communities about the
difference between materials recovery facilities, sanitary landfills and open dumpsites. But the
common notion of what a dumpsite looks like is embedded in people’s minds. Making matters
worse is that cities and authority that have welcomed dumping have not been able to present a
good model. So the consequence is in July 2000, a huge mountain of trash in Payatas, Quezon
City crashed on people scavenging in the dumpsite. The trash avalanche buried at least 200
people in filthy refuse. The tragedy highlighted the dangers of uncontrolled dumping of solid
waste. It also brought to the spotlight the direct impact of the trash thrown out of their homes
everyday. In a dumpsite, trucks haul in mixed trash. The pile lacks a liner such that the waste is
in direct contact with the ground. Leachate from the trash seep into the ground and contaminate
underground water. Decaying trash let off methane that affects our lungs and starts off
spontaneous fires all around. It’s normal to see a pall of acrid smoke constantly rising at the

The second obstacle is financing and governance. The investment costs and management
burden of a comprehensive MSW management system are too burdensome for many cities.
Local government units (LGUs) are tasked with enforcement. This includes preparing MSW
management plans and setting up proper facilities. But the law does not cite specific enforcement
actions, and many LGU officials lack management and technical competency (Amy R.Remo,
2017). It is essential to know the quantity and composition of Municipal Solid Waste when
designing and implementing proper waste management plans that include resource recovery
through appropriate methods. This study seeks to estimate the average per capita of Municipal
Solid Waste generation and its total quantity. It also determine the current practices of the
Municipal Waste Management in terms of segregation, collection, treatment and final disposal,
and identify and recommend solutions for improving the Solid Waste Management. Moreover,
the 3-year term limits for elected local officials also constrains them to adequately plan long-
term solutions. Finally, investing in such systems is also very costly, often too much for a single

Third, the ban on incineration eliminated a viable alternative to landfilling. The 2000 law
solely prescribed engineered sanitary landfills as the acceptable method of final waste disposal,
and the 1999 Clean Air Act prohibited incineration for MSW disposal. The Clean Air Act’s
stated goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions is actually hindered by banning incineration.
Studies have shown that sanitary landfills with methane recovery systems produce 2-to-3 times
more carbon dioxide equivalent, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide than incineration-based
electricity systems per kWh of power generated ( Landfills without methane capture are much
worse, because the escaping methane is 34 times more harmful to the environment than carbon
dioxide. The basis for banning incineration was the old technology used in existing incinerators
in the Philippines which operate below 1,000°C. But modern incinerators are hotter and can
eliminate toxic gases such as dioxins and furans (Aldrin B.P.,2017).

Land filling and the 3 integrated waste management method (Reduce, Reuse and
Recycle) are the main types of SWM in the country. The law also requires the mandatory
segregation at source of solid waste into containers labeled as: compostable, recyclable, non-
recyclable, or special use (Suehiro O.,2013). While recycling through the establishment of
Municipal Recovery Facilities (MRF), that includes waste transfer station, and composting and
recycling facilities, is mandated under RA 9003, most Local Government Units (LGUs) do not
comply with this mandate. Limiting factors to the recovery of recyclables materials are the
concentration of recycling industries in selected areas, i.e., high cost of transporting recyclable
materials, and weakness of local recycling industries due to high operating costs.

1) Alicia L. Castillo & Suehiro Otoma.(2013). Status of Solid Waste Management in the
2) Vivian Moya (2016). Practices, Systems and Issues on Solid Waste Management in
catbalogan City, Samar Philippines. Retrieved from
3) Tay Joo Hwa, Solid Waste Management: Issues and Challenges in Asia, ©APO 2007,
ISBN: 92-833-7058-9, Report of the APO Survey on Solid-Waste Management 2004–
05http://www. ind-22-swm.pdf
4) Aldrin B. Plaza (2016). Ditch NIMBY to fix Philippines’ municipal solid waste problem.
Retrieved from
5) Amy R. Remo (2017). Addressing waste management woes in cities. Retrieved from