Goodbye soon to solid waste?

At last, the country’s National Solid Waste Management Commission has finally approved the 10-year solid waste management (SWM) plans of 21 local government units (LGUs) last July 8, 2021.

So far, the 1,103 approved SWM plans cover 64 percent of its target nationwide as reported by the NSWMC.

According to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary and NSWMC Chair Roy A. Cimatu, LGUs are mandated under Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, through their local solid waste management boards, to formulate their respective 10-year SWM plans consistent with the National Solid Waste Management Framework of the NSWMC.

Cimatu added that the SWM plans are vital for the foundation of an effective solid waste management of cities and municipalities through the leadership of their local executives.

The SWM plans include strategies on waste diversion, waste collection efficiency or coverage, collection and disposal of residual waste, operation, and maintenance of SWM equipment and facility.

Of those recently approved, at least four LGUs in Ilocos Norte were lucky to be included in the long list.

While the government continued to campaign for the strict observance of proper waste disposal at the community level, it’s sad to say that many folks were stubborn and hardheaded. They burned plastic and their waste materials in backyards. Farmers torched their hays and discarded woods in the fields. Others had polluted our bodies of water.

All these, among other things, bleed the heart of Mother Nature!

The ENRO and LGUs placed signages and waste bins in strategic locations for proper waste disposal, yet many incorrigible ignored them for lack of discipline.

On the part of Laoag, just early this year, NSWMC commended the city’s 10-year solid waste management (SWM) plan pushed under the administration of Mayor Michael Marcos Keon.

The mayor proudly assured that the new 3.5-hectare modern sanitary landfill project located at Barangay 40 Balatong would be operational when fully completed by the yearend.

To sum it up, the province of Ilocos Norte, including its two component cities of Laoag and Batac, is doing monumental efforts to ensure that the provision of RA 9003 is complied with and to make the entire province a sustainable, resilient, and livable place to live in. (IS with reports from Tri-media and DENR)