The aggressive pursuit for economic growth in developing countries including the Philippines has contributed to environmental degradation that emanates from various waste management problems (Castillo & Suehiro, 2013). Particularly, the rapid industrialization, urbanization, and population growth that accompany the path to economic growth are the main contributors behind the rapid spike in waste generation. In turn, the insufficient capacity of our waste systems to treat and dispose present and future volumes of waste is exposed. Indeed, waste management presents an environmental and social problem to both developed and developing countries, with the former having an advantage in the form of financial and technical resources, while the latter continues to struggle to efficiently implement basic systems to manage waste (Paul et al., 2007).
In a privilege speech in the Senate last year, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian warned about a looming national garbage crisis that would require immediate action from the government, civil society, and stakeholders. Based on 2018 data, the Philippines is the third largest generator of solid wastes per year among Southeast Asian countries, with only Thailand and Indonesia producing more. The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) showed that by 2030, Filipinos would be producing five additional kilograms of solid waste per year, amounting to 16.6 million metric tons of waste and equivalent to 39.9% increase compared to 2014. These millions of wastes could fill 23,279 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or about 99 Philippine Arenas in Bulacan, from the ground to the top of the dome (Romero, 2020).
Researcher: Athena Mari E. Son