DENR Bicol fosters a trash-free Undas

As Bicolanos troop to cemeteries during the weekend, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region V has urged the public to keep it trash-free during the upcoming holidays.

DENR Bicol Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales said All Saints Day and All Souls Day in November 1 and 2 respectively, are expected to significantly increase waste generation.

“These holidays are festive revelries that obviously will result to a lot of waste food containers and the like, yet if we adopt a more creative way of avoiding trash like using reusable or recyclable materials we can generate minimal amount of waste,” Dir. Gonzales explained.

RED Gonzales added that the easiest way to ensure a trash-free Undas is by abiding with the 3 R’s of solid waste management: reduce, reuse and recycle. “In sum, it is by way of utilizing recyclable or reusable materials in packing food and drinks likewise by throwing garbage in specifically coded bins for proper segregation” he said.

An estimated 1,022 tons of garbage is generated in Bicol Region everyday and an aggregate 30,000 tons of trash nationwide, but the volume shoots up geometrically during public holidays.  Under the Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, a person caught littering could be fined from P300 to P1,000, or is asked to render community service.

He advised local governments to conduct immediate cleanup activities since littered garbage would result to clogged waterways that might cause floods and ultimately flushed to the open seas which would put in danger marine biodiversity.

           For the general public, DENR gave the following pointers on ensuring a green celebration of All Saints and All Souls Days:  abide by local ordinances regarding the use of; plastic bags; reduce wastage by bringing only a sufficient amount of food; use fresh flowers and small potted plants; and lessen air pollution by ensuring that vehicles are well-maintained, observing carpooling, or using public transportation.

Press Release: October 30, 2013