San Nicolas’ ‘no segregation, no collection’ waste policy merits regional award

SAN NICOLAS, Ilocos Norte — The “no segregation, no collection’ waste management policy” started in 2011 has earned for this town the tag of being the cleanest, safest and greenest town in the province and the region under the first to third class town category.

The program requires residents and business establishments to segregate their wastes in three kinds – biodegradable (nabubulok); non-biodegradable (hindi nabubulok) and recyclable before the collection schedule.

Garbage collectors go around the 24 villages to collect garbage at least thrice a week with the biodegradable wastes brought to the composting facility to be converted as organic fertilizers while the non-biodegradable materials and recyclable wastes are placed in a controlled dumpsite.

The practice was institutionalized by then Mayor Alfredo Valdez Jr. in 2011 and was later covered by an ordinance that penalizes non-complying residents and business establishments.

For erring businesses, their licenses to operate are either suspended or revoked while residents who violate are fined with a minimum of P300 to the maximum of P1,000, depending on the gravity of the violation, or they may be required to render community service.

Municipal Ordinance 2011–13 also mandates the no bringing out of garbage outside the scheduled time of collection; ban of littering and throwing of garbage along the streets; no open burning of wastes; and no open dumping of garbage in flood-prone areas.

Heidie A. Longboy, assistant environmental management officer said their solid waste management practice is big contributor to the successful and effective maintenance of the cleanliness and sanitation of their town. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA)