DEVELOPING a culture of waste consciousness is necessary to minimize the waste ending up at the sanitary landfill.
Councilor Temujin “Tek” Ocampo, the committee on environment chair, stressed the city is still struggling to implement solid waste policies.
“Here in Davao City, despite our Solid Waste Management Ordinance, waste segregation at source is still a problem,” he said in his privilege speech during Friday’s regular session.
“This mounting waste, if disregarded, will have far-reaching consequences threatening not only our environment but also our health and well-being. Thus, we must take immediate action to implement effective waste management strategies,” Ocampo added.
The environmental chair cited that garbage generated in the city averages around 600-650 tons daily during the onslaught of the pandemic as reported by the Davao City Environment and Natural Resources Office.
The councilor recently attended a Solid Waste Management Training in Kitakyushu, Japan on Nov. 13-22, sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the city government of Davao.
Among the training highlights were a tour of the Waste to Energy (WTE) Plant, Pollution control, proper waste segregation at individual homes, and teaching the school children environmental conservation.
“This is something that amazed me, how they make sure that at a young age, children are already taught the importance of proper waste disposal. It is really important to start educating children at school about this matter to achieve proper and efficient waste management,” he said.
Ocampo said he is looking to model the circular economy policy of Japan to reduce pollution and address resource scarcity, as segregated wastes will be upscaled and developed into new products through circulating materials using “R strategies” such as reuse, remanufacture, recycle, and refurbish.
The councilor said they will take advantage of the 60 million Euro grant that the city received from the EU for the Green Economy Program for circular waste economy improvement and climate change policies and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, circular waste economy policy, circular waste reduction economy and to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment.
In his closing statement, he vowed to follow through with the said training, modeling the Kitakyushu here in the city.
The councilor recognizes the significance of community engagement and is looking forward to the first-ever Barangay Solid Waste Management Summit this December 2023 to re-educate citizens on proper waste disposal and brainstorm techniques of possible inventions with the input of barangay functionaries.
“We cannot expect that this will be an overnight solution to our problem. As the quote says, “slowly but surely,” we too can change the behavior and mindset of our people through massive awareness of proper waste disposal,” he added.
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