February 16, 2013

Where Are Our Wastes Going?

A chapter in Michael Moore's book "Stupid White Men" made me realize something. One that involves the waste management system in Baguio City and nearby towns. The chapter (Nice Planet, Nobody Home) started with several stories on where wastes originally segregated as recyclables and non-recyclables actually go. Are they really recycled? Or are they just dumped by the pickers with all the other wastes rendering the segregation by citizens pointless? The garbage bags are labeled paper, glass and metal but when they're picked up by the trucks, they all go to the same crusher along with all the other garbage. So what's the point of segregation if at the end of the day, all the garbage are just dumped altogether in the same place/process.

Distributed along the main streets of Baguio City are garbage bins marked as biodegradable and non-biodegradable. Sure, that's not the same as recyclable and non-recyclable but you get the point.

The big question is “Provided that the population has done its part in segregating the wastes from biodegradable to non-biodegradable, are the garbage collectors doing their part of the bargain?” That is dumping them in two separate places?

Will somebody out there follow our garbage trucks sometime and find out where our wastes are actually going. Because there's a chance we're being conned. We're being told by the government to segregate our wastes but they might not be processing these wastes the way segregated wastes should be processed.

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