The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is targeting in 2021 to provide each of the 178 local government units (LGUs) within the Manila Bay region with industrial-grade shredder-composter machines to help them comply with Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and LGUs Concerns Benny D. Antiporda disclosed this during the turnover of the first batch of shredder-composter equipment to Pampanga LGUs—San Fernando City and the towns of Apalit, Candaba, Guagua and Magalang.

The Manila Bay region is comprised of the National Capital Region and eight provinces from Regions III and IV-A, namely, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Laguna, Rizal and Cavite.

During the recent turnover ceremony held at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City, Antiporda said the agency will continue to provide LGUs the necessary support to ensure their compliance with RA 9003.

“Sad to say, compliance is slow particularly where LGUs lack the means for full and prompt compliance,” Antiporda lamented.

“This is where the DENR steps in, in line with its mandate to provide technical assistance and other capability-building assistance to LGUs,” he added.

A shredder-composter set includes a brand new composter that can process one ton of compost material within 24 hours, and a brand new shredder with the capacity to process two tons of organic waste per day.

The event was keynoted by Senator Cynthia A. Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. It was highlighted by the signing of the project’s Memorandum of Agreement between the DENR and the LGUs represented by their respective local executives.

Citing statistics from the National Solid Waste Management Commission, Antiporda said around 52 percent of the municipal wastes in the country is biodegradable.

Providing LGUs with the equipment, he said, will not only reduce the amount of waste that end up in sanitary landfills but will also transform the diverted wastes into assets as organic fertilizer, which is valuable to agriculture and horticulture.

“Transportation na lang po ang gagastusin nila dito,” Antiporda added, referring to the cost for the farmers availing of the organic fertilizers from the equipment.

Antiporda disclosed that the provision of the equipment will also help increase the collection of recyclable materials, which account for some 28 percent of the country’s municipal wastes.

The difficulty in recovering recyclable materials has been largely blamed to contamination by biodegradable materials like food wastes. ###