Press Release
March 27, 2020

Villar: Barangay-based waste management and recycling projects can be done inspite of quarantine

Despite the enhanced community quarantine being imposed in Luzon and other parts in the country, Sen. Cynthia Villar said proper handling of waste products can still be done.

Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said it is important that garbage collection and recycling efforts continue in order to prevent additional health and sanitation woes.

"We continue to generate waste even if we are under quarantine. Garbage will pile up if these are not collected and overwhelm our landfills if not properly segregated and recycled," Villar said.

The lady senator also added that used masks and gloves can easily mix with household waste when these should be treated as hazardous wastes.

Villar urged local government officials to implement environmentally-sound practices alongside measures battling the spread of COVID-19.

In her home city of Las Pinas, Villar said composting and recycling facilities continue operating to properly manage the city's waste and at the same time continue to provide livelihood to residents.

Bio-men, or the barangay-employed collectors of kitchen wastes, continue to bike around the city. They turn over their collection to composting and vermi-composting centers where kitchen wastes were converted into organic fertilizers in their own barangay.

"In a month, we produce 70 tons of fertilizer and give them out to farmers in nearby provinces. In Metro Manila, there are also urban gardeners and vegetable farmers who benefit from this free farm input," Villar said.

Collected soft plastics such as food wrappers were recycled into plastic chairs.It takes 20 kilos of plastic to produce one arm chair which the senator donates to public schools all over the country.

Waste coconut husks are also collected to be turned into coconet and charcoal.

"Our composting and recycling projects helped us recycle 70 percent of waste and enabled us to save on garbage hauling services. This is very important especially now that garbage collection can no longer be brought to the landfill in Montalban, Rizal because of quarantine measures," Villar said.

She added that workers in these composting and recycling centers live nearby and operate on spacious areas where social distancing can be easily observed.

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