The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) held its first summit on Best Practices on Solid Waste Management in the Cordilleras 27 – 29 July, 2016 in Baguio. Representatives from Local Government Units, Non Government Organizations and individuals participated in the summit. There were more than three hundred (300) participants.
DENR launched its search for best practices two months ago. Among the NGOs who were recognized in implementing Republic Act 2003, the law passed in the year 2000 on Solid Waste Management, were Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary and Mountain Maid Training Center. Dr. Julie Cabato known for her advocacy in protecting the environment was also an awardee.
Mountain Maid Training Center received the Award for its MMTDFI Solid Waste Management (Vermi-Composting Facility).
Mr. Jessie Opilas, our “vermi man” and Sr. Guadalupe Bautista represented Mountain Maid Training Center in the summit.
In 2008, the Irisan dumpsite reached its breaking point and collapsed causing the loss of lives and properties in Irisan. This prompted us to seriously manage our “trash” and therefore lessen the garbage collected by the city government.
The education and training of staff and student workers; the setting up of Material Resources Facilities; the sorting of recyclables and sale to junk shops; the introduction of African Night Crawlers for vermin-composting were concrete actions to live the Province’s vision of “fullness of life where there is justice, peace and integrity of creation”.
Peelings of vegetables and fruits from the canteen, hostel and convent kitchens plus the heaps of ube or purple yam discards amounted to three (3) tons a week! During peak seasons of the Flower Festival (February), Holy Week (April) and Christmas the biodegradable waste reaches five tons a week. How to manage all this organic waste? The answer was to feed the waste to “Eugene” the friendly worm and transform its waste into organic fertilizer.
Other steps taken were the installations of solar water heaters and solar lights. Savings on electric bills is 30%.
The discipline of sorting trash is on-going and never ending.
‘Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment continues to challenge us to protect the environment and save our planet, the only home we have.
Click here - National Environmental Award from MMTC
Click here to learn more about MMTC - http://www.goodshepherd-asiapacific.org.au/project/146
Sr. M. Guadalupe Baustista, RGS
Mr. Jessie Opilas
July 28, 2016