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Solid-Waste Management Practices of Households in Manila, Philippines


Address for correspondence: Eileen C. Bernardo, Department of Environmental Science and Management, Isabela State University, Isabella, 3328, Cabagan, Isabela 3328, Philippines.


The experiences and practices of household waste management of people in a barangay (village) in Manila, Philippines are documented. The data were gathered through an interview with household members using open-ended questions. Interviews were also conducted with garbage collectors as well as scavengers. Results showed that the households generated an average of 3.2 kg of solid waste per day, or 0.50 kg/capita/day. The types of wastes commonly generated are food/kitchen wastes, papers, PET bottles, metals, and cans, boxes/cartons, glass bottles, cellophane/plastics, and yard/garden wastes. The respondents segregate their wastes into PET bottles, glass bottles, and other waste (mixed wastes). No respondents perform composting. It is worth noting, however, that burning of waste is not done by the respondents. The households rely on garbage collection by the government. Collection is done twice daily, except Sundays, and household members bring their garbage when the garbage truck arrives. However, there are those who dump their garbage in nondesignated pick-up points, usually in a corner of the street. The dumped garbage becomes a breeding ground for disease-causing organisms. Some household respondents said that it is possible that the dumping in certain areas caused the dengue fever suffered by some of their family members. Mothers and household helpers are responsible for household waste management. Scavengers generally look for recyclable items in the dumped garbage. All of them said that it is their only source of income, which is generally not enough for their meals. They are also aware that their work affects their health. Most of the respondents said that garbage collection and disposal is the responsibility of the government. The results of the study showed that RA 9003, also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, is not fully implemented in Metro Manila.