Posted in Research

A Case for Public Perception towards Sustainable Waste Management in the ASEAN

This is a short essay that I wrote as an entry for the ASEAN Youth Citizen Journalism Contest 2017. However, I was unable to submit it because of  issues in their Google Form. I decided to share it with you. I also hope to publish a paper on public perception towards urban solid waste management in 2018. Leave some comments!

Waste management is projected to increase because of growing population and unmanaged urbanization. A 2009 study details that ASEAN citizens generate volumes of waste ranging from 0.45 kg/person/day in Myanmar to 1.1 kg/person/day in Singapore (Nguyen Ngoc and Schnitzer, 2009). The Philippine Climate Change Commission found that 9% of country greenhouse gas emissions are from the waste management sector (Magalang, 2014). Despite this, waste management is one of the least prioritized sectors of local management (Hoornweg and Bhada-tata, 2012), even though waste management is inculcated in the Sustainable Development Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Waste management is a complex environmental issue that needs not only technological solutions but also socio-economic and political resolutions (Guerrero et al., 2013). In Singapore, around ninety-percent of waste is incinerated due the limited space for landfilling (Zhang et al., 2010). However, not all ASEAN countries have resources and situations like Singapore for managing waste. The Philippines, for example, cannot legally practice incineration because of an existing law for clean air (RA 8749).

Increasing public perception towards solid waste management is influential for encouraging participation in waste management. Doing so would reduce waste generation, improve waste collection percentage, promote waste segregation and increase participation in waste diversion practices. Particularly, waste diversion practices like composting and recycling are advantageous to developing countries in the ASEAN because of low capital outlay. Composting particularly fits the majorly biodegradable composition of waste in most ASEAN countries (Nguyen Ngoc and Schnitzer, 2009). Increasing public perception has been found to increase participation in composting practices (Sufian and Bala, 2007; EcoGov, 2011). The power of the informal sector – waste pickers, small-scale recyclers – will also be tapped when households are aware of the benefits of proper solid waste management. The informal sector will complement the government waste management system.

The youth of the ASEAN are the powerful influencers through social media. The power of social media in spreading messages throughout the globe is exceeded by none. Because of social media access, the youth is able to convey strong support towards causes that are relevant to them. Public perception can be stimulated greatly through social media, steamrolling public action that is both massive and quick. Waste management is least priority: the youth have made issues relevant through the power of social media. The Sustainable Development Goals are the agenda of 2030: today’s youth are the decision-makers and policy leaders then.  Starting action today will provide a thrust towards public participation in waste management in the near future. The experience of good food, convenient housing, and wonderful aesthetics – these privileges must be experienced by the next generation too.

References:

  • Guerrero L, Maas G, Hogland W. 2013. Solid waste management challenges for cities in developing countries. Waste Management 33: 220-232.
  • Hoornweg D, Bhada-tata P. 2012. What a waste: a global review of solid waste management. Urban Development Series. March 2012 No. 15. World Bank.
  • Magalang A. 2014. Municipal solid waste management in the Philippines. In: Pariatamby A and Tanaka M. 2014. Municipal Solid Waste Management in Asia and the Pacific Islands. Environmental Science and Engineering.
  • Nguyen Ngoc U and Schnitzer H. 2009. Sustainable solutions for solid waste management in Southeast Asian countries. Waste Management 29 (2009) 1982–1995.
  • Republic Act No. 8749. Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999.
  • Sufian MA and Bala BK. 2007. Modeling of urban solid waste management system: the case of Dhaka city. Waste Management 27 (2007) 858–868.
  • Zhang D, Tan S, Gersberg R. 2010. A comparison of municipal solid waste management in Berlin and Singapore. Waste Management 30: 921-933.
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Posted in Personal, Research

Four Themes from “Happy City”

The book “Happy City” by Charles Montgomery illustrates the role of urban design towards providing a happiness solution to the cities of the world.

Aside from Mr. Paulo Alcazaren and Prof. Ernesto Serote, I do not know other authors who wrote books about the Philippine cities in a tone similar to “Happy City.”

With this hope, I wrote a hub enumerating four themes from the book that I found applicable to the Philippine context. These four themes are:

  1. The essentials of a sustainable city
  2. Dedication to public mass transport and public transit
  3. Specialized geographies, and
  4. Defining the city

I invite the architects, engineers, and planners to leave comments and stories of successes and failures in the Philippines towards urban design. I hope one day, in addition to technical documents and consultancy reports, books on urban planning and environmental studies will be published with the narrative and illustrative pattern of “Happy City.”

Check out my article here: https://hubpages.com/education/Four-Themes-from-Happy-City

Posted in Personal, Research

System Dynamics Modelling and Urban Environmental Systems

This is the presentation I used for my teaching demonstration for a faculty position at the Ateneo de Manila University.  System dynamics modelling is a powerful tool that must be optimized by researchers, especially those from developing countries, because it does not require extensive data gathering. A free software for learning system dynamics modelling is Vensim.

Posted in Research

Cities of the Philippines and Waste Management: San Pablo City

Inspired by the exercise I conducted on the waste generation status of Philippine cities (see: here), I present a series of information summaries about significant cities.

Using a formulated data gathering template for online-only search, waste management information in the City of San Pablo is compiled.

Access the information sheet through this link: https://goo.gl/Jj3ahT

Recommendations

With the information gathered, the following recommendations are forwarded for San Pablo City waste management research.

  • The City has no official website; a website is important for transparency and data gathering. Contact persons and basic city profiles are beneficial to the public, particularly for researchers.
  • The lessons learned in the construction and operation of the City Sanitary Landfill must be shared with other local government units.

Do you have additional information I missed? Leave a comment!

Posted in Research

Cities of the Philippines and Waste Management: Dasmariñas City

Inspired by the exercise I conducted on the waste generation status of Philippine cities (see: here), I present a series of information summaries about significant cities.

Using a formulated data gathering template for online-only search, waste management information in the City of Dasmariñas is compiled.

Access the information sheet through this link: https://goo.gl/NvoEU0

Recommendations

With the information gathered, the following recommendations are forwarded for Dasmariñas City waste management research.

  • The City has no official website; a website is important for transparency and data gathering. Contact persons and basic city profiles are beneficial to the public, particularly for researchers.
  • Being a premier university towards ecological studies, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas must enjoin the local government and other institutions in its programs, including waste management.
  • Information on NSWMC dashboard and Province of Cavite Profile are not synchronized. It is important that communication is open for updating information, especially for facilities mandated by the law, e.g., closure of open dumpsites.

Do you have additional information I missed? Leave a comment!

Posted in Research

Cities of the Philippines and Waste Management: Antipolo City

Inspired by the exercise I conducted on the waste generation status of Philippine cities (see: here), I present a series of information summaries about significant cities.

Using a formulated data gathering template for online-only search, waste management information in the City of Antipolo is compiled.

Access the information sheet through this link: https://goo.gl/Ol5WxT

Recommendations

With the information gathered, the following recommendations are forwarded for Antipolo City waste management research.

  • Continue publication of success stories about the launching of MRFs to inspire other local governments.
  • Encourage local scholars to conduct research on waste management, particularly regarding the annual waste issue of Lenten trash.
  • Publish waste generation and waste composition data on City website for public knowledge.

Do you have additional information I missed? Leave a comment!

Posted in Personal, Research

Research: An Overview of Secondary Cities

This is the presentation I used for my teaching demonstration for a faculty position at the University of the Philippines. As a former staff of the USAID-SURGE Project, I cannot deny the importance of secondary cities in the current urban world. A significant comment of the panel was that the presentation uses “development language” heavily.

The presentation derives from the presentation of Mr. John Avila during the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners Conference.