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Miriam College - Environmental Studies Institute

and the
Environmental Management Bureau - DENR

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 1

2 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Miriam College - Environmental Studies Institute

and the
Environmental Management Bureau - DENR

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 3

4 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
Republic of the Philippines
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City


The environment reflects the way of life in modern society. No longer do we enjoy a
nature of hills and seas but are faced instead, with mountains and rivers of garbage. The
picture is entirely unappealing, and something must be done.

The concept of Ecological Solid Waste Management, of the proper management of

waste through the principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle, has been introduced in communi-
ties across the country. Faced with the fact that the youth make up majority of the nations
population, greater is the need to immerse these junior members of the society in an intensive
solid waste management practice in schools.

Schools are basins where people are molded, the training ground through which to
instill necessary attitudes and mindsets that would serve as the core towards proper living in
a demanding world. Thus, a partnership between and among children and adults, individuals

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 5

who make up the school community, should be strengthened to work on the road to a cleaner and
better place conducive to promoting the best learning experience.

The Solid Waste Management Module for Schools is a guidebook, a step-by-step instruction
manual on how solid waste management should be implemented, and who among the school commu-
nity would be the key players in the immersion process. The goal is to foster participation among
children and adults, and put schools in action for the welfare of Mother Earth.

Let this module provide guiding principles, as we raise hopes that members of the school
community will learn to understand the importance of managing solid wastes. Together, let us work
towards a picture perfect world, and lend a gentle hand to guide the young generation as they form
patterns of thoughts and behaviors geared towards environmental protection and concern. The
responsibility to lead the youth lies in us, for truly, they are the hope of our nation, and the world.


6 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Republic of the Philippines
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Environmental Management Bureau
DENR Compound, Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City


Solid waste management is an emergent concern. Based on studies made by the National Solid
Waste Management Commission-Secretariat based at the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB),
there is a daily estimated 0.5 kilogram per capita waste generation in Metro Manila alone. With an
estimated population of 10.5 million, the total waste generation in Metro Manila alone could run up to
1.95 million metric tons per year. Of this magnitude of generated waste, only 73% are collected daily by
dump trucks, with the remaining 27% ending up in canals, rivers, or any other space where garbage could
possibly be dumped into.
The problem on solid waste management brought to the environment evidences of neglect and
abuse. Wastes flood the metropolis as canals and esteros become filled with trash. In 2000, countless
lives have been lost as hundreds of people got buried alive as mountains of garbage collapsed due to
heavy downpour a disaster which we all regard now as the Tragedy of Payatas.
The tragedy paved way towards the enactment of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid
Waste Management Act of 2000. Yet, even before the passage of the Act, the government, through the
EMB of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has been financially and technically
assisting community-based projects particularly in the establishment of Materials Recovery Facilities

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 7

(MRFs). As of 2004, a total of 842 MRFs were already established nationwide, with components ranging
from composting and recycling facilities. Other projects of the Bureau include the creation of the
National Eco-labelling Program and the Green Procurement Program, the establishment of the National
Ecology Center, the conduct of waste paper recovery program, as well as the recognition of barangays
all across the country, as models on ecological solid waste management.
The government also recognizes the vital role environmental education plays in the implementa-
tion of waste management practice in schools, as this would give justice to the commitment of our
leaders on ecological waste management. This guidebook, Solid Waste Management Module for Schools,
provides methods and instructions that would be of aide as successful solid waste management systems
are established in schools. This module is critical in complementing government efforts on the proper
practice and implementation of ecological solid waste management. Through this, we hope that the
younger members of our society would learn to understand the value of reducing and managing the
wastes being generated at schools, and eventually, carry on such good habit into the respective homes
and communities.
Each sector of the society is a part which makes up a whole, and a call for a collective effort is
demanded. Rest assured that the EMB would support endeavors towards environmental protection.



8 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Environmental Science Institute
Miriam College
Diliman, Quezon City


One day, I met my masteral student in the library and he asked with some exasperation in his
voice, Isnt there a book on Solid Waste Management (SWM)? I thought about his need and
the various materials in the library and I then realized that what he was looking for was a HOW
TO book, a step-by-step guide through the many options one can take.

Our librarian confirmed this need. A large number of researchers coming to the Environmental
Studies Institute wanted such a source book.

Most SWM Programs that are now functioning fairly well were trial-and-error endeavors at the
start. They finally succeeded because of the dogged determination of individuals who refused
to give up in spite of uncooperative and even slanderous neighbors, unreliable collectors, and

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 9

many more obstacles. Most of these individuals were volunteers, some performed the job as
part of their official work. But they simply DID IT.

This book resulted from a reflection on the steps taken, retracted, revised, and re-tried by
these individuals and their communities or schools.

This book is written for all those who want to but do not know how to begin an SWM program.
Perhaps, this book will help others without going through much of the pain and trouble that our
pioneering individuals have experienced.

This book is dedicated to the Odettes, Sonias, Ofhies, Pepings, Luzes, Nardas, Ofels, Nitas,
Tessas of our society who simply DID IT.


Executive Director

10 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

So you want to start a Solid Waste Management

Solid Waste Management and the residents of Candon, Ilocos Sur

for your concern for Mother Earth!
Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 11
Solid Waste Management
a Paradigm Shift Youth Action in Compostela Valley

12 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Twenty years ago, it would have been hard to believe that a law would be required
concerning garbage. In the past, our purpose in disposing of our waste was simply to
have a clean, pleasant, and sanitary surroundings. As long as we swept and mopped
our floors and threw litter in the garbage can, that was it. The prevailing attitude
was: Out of sight, out of mind. As long as we didnt see it, it was not a problem.

The system of dealing with waste, based on this attitude, was simply GARBAGE

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 13

Out of Sight,
Out of Mind =
Garbage Disposal
14 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
The system of garbage disposal can be described as simply:

TAPON by the individual/households

HAKOT by government trucks and/or private
TAMBAK in open dumpsites
KALAT due to improper manner of disposal, retrieval,
inadequate collection, and over-congestion in
SUNOG to burn the piles of uncollected garbage

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 15

The Tragedy in Payatas
16 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
The Payatas tragedy of 1999 dramatized the folly of this attitude. When
thousands were buried alive in garbage as heavy rains caused the collapse of
the mountains of garbage, we all realized that our prevailing attitudes and prac-
tices on waste could be the cause of other peoples lives.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 17

The inherent issues associated with the system are:

large areas needed for open dumpsite or sanitary landfill system

huge costs involved in hauling of garbage

- fuel
- labor
- truck and road maintenance

continuous extraction of virgin materials from nature needed for manufacture

toxic and hazardous leachate, the juice from mixed garbage
poor environmental quality in and around the dumpsites

18 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

We must shift from the paradigm of wastage and garbage disposal which
continually extracts from the Earths resources and sends waste to a dead
end in the dumpsite

virgin materials _____ waste

_____ dumpsite

to the paradigm of ecological solid waste management which returns the

waste to where it can be a resource again.


Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 19

RA 9003 Ecological Solid Waste Management Act

- segregation at source
- segregated collection
- Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and
- composting for each barangay or cluster of barangays

Encourages environment-friendly products and packaging

Penalizes violation

20 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

General Segregation Scheme


* Glass *Metal * Aluminum *Plastic *Food Waste

or Cardboard

* Image taken from

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 21

Why a Solid Waste Management (SWM) module specifically for schools?

Although the basic principles are common, different settings often require different SWM systems. What
are the peculiar characteristics of a school which point to certain features that would be different for,
e.g. a wet market or a commercial center?

1. Schools, by nature, serve as the most ideal models for correct / proper behavior and attitude
development, and are composed of many young people who are impressionable and idealistic.
2. The students are on campus most of the day and theories learned in the classroom can be
reinforced by rules and guidelines for behavior.
3. They are let out all together or in big segments at recess time, eating their snacks after playing.
4. There are certain nodes of waste concentration, e.g., paper in classrooms and offices, soiled
tissue, soft drink cans, and disposable cups in the canteen, tin cans, and peelings in the kitchen.
5. In all-female schools, feminine napkins make up a big portion of the total waste.

There are many differences too. Some campuses are large, some are extremely limited in space. The
organizational structures vary. The curriculum levels from pre-school to college have different age

22 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

However, diverse as the conditions of schools may be, it can be presumed that
they take seriously their reason for existing: schools are cradles of
values formation. One concrete way by which students should de-
velop the value of caring for the Earth is to ensure that they are taught the
right attitude and behavior towards the waste they generate.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 23

Take care of our planet.
It is the only home we have. Photo taken by Dr. Corazon Claudio

24 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

How to Use This Book

The pages on your left contain the outline of the concepts discussed in this book.
The opposite pages explain the concepts. Thus, you can scan the book to get the
main ideas quickly by just reading the pages on the left. If you want the information
in detail, read the main thought on the left and then read the page opposite.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 25

The first thing to do is to
decide on your objectives.
A most basic objective is to
have clean surroundings. River Clean-Up Project

26 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

As a most basic objective, this simply means no littering. Certainly, we all need
uncluttered surroundings by garbage for emotional and physical sense of peace. A
clean-up drive by itself is often just removal of litter. Usually this is done in beaches
to restore their beauty. When done in rivers and canals, it restores the free flow of
water. Clean-ups also deliver the important service of flood prevention.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 27

Another objective
should be to protect
human health. Junior Ecologists, F. de Mesa School

28 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Health is another basic human desire. We want to do away with garbage that breeds
flies, roaches, rodents, and harmful bacteria that can spread disease. In the past, the
conventional practice to deal with this objective is to burn garbage or to transfer gar-
bage someplace else like dumpsites or landfills.

However, burning garbage causes air pollution which brings about another set of prob-
lems. Burning chlorine-containing material, e.g., certain types of plastics, can produce
the toxic compounds, dioxins and furans. It has been found that even some garden
waste can produce these chemicals when burned. This is the reason incinerators have
been banned in the Clean Air Act and open burning is not allowed in the Ecological Solid
Waste Management Act. Furthermore, burning of carbon-based materials produces
carbon monoxide which is hazardous, and, carbon dioxide which contributes to global
warming. Also, bringing garbage to dumpsites and landfills simply transfers the prob-
lem from one site to another. To the dumpsite will transfer the rodents, roaches, and

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 29

Another objective should be
to alleviate the dumpsite cri-
sis of urban centers and to
prevent such in the provinces. Students of various Cagayan de Oro Schools in a Basura Tour

30 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

In times past, when houses had yard space and materials were all biodegradable,
wastes that could not be reused or fed to animals were buried in the backyard. At
present, urban living in limited spaces often does not allow for individual burial grounds
(But many have done it, even in crowded squatter areas.) At the same time, life is
dominated by plastics which do not decompose. This is why dumpsites, large and
small, formal and informal, are now found in practically all communities.

We can help by minimizing the garbage that ends up in dumpsites.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 31

Another objective is to turn
waste into resource and thus
help slow down depletion of
the Earths resources.
F. de Mesa students at the schools Ecowaste Center
The four objectives mentioned are must objectives.
32 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
We can turn waste into resource by disposing of waste where it can be useful again.
For example, recyclables should go back to factories, biodegradables can become feed
for animals, or be composted and applied in gardens or to crops

When we recycle glass, we lessen the pressure on our beaches from which silica, the
main material for glass, comes. When we recycle metals like aluminum, tin and iron, we
help lessen mining which brings about a host of problems - deforestation, soil erosion,
siltation, toxic chemicals, etc. When we recycle plastic, we conserve petroleum, the raw
material for plastic. When we recycle paper, we conserve trees.

When we compost, organic matter and minerals are returned to the soil and enrich it,
minimizing the need for artificial fertilizer.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 33

An optional objective is to
generate income from: 1) raw
waste or 2) crafts and other
products from raw waste. A showcase of recycled products in Cagayan de Oro
34 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
Income can be generated from the sale of recyclable and/or composted mate-
rials and objects made of recyclable materials.

Schools which care to make money from waste need a higher-order system to
coordinate the activities involving human resources and possibly, some infra-

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 35

For schools, the following
objective is a must: To edu-
cate students on the ratio-
nale, theories, and practice
of Solid Waste Management Pupil Training: Waste Segregation, Pinaglabanan Elementary School

36 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

The students must understand and internalize the concept that Everything
must go somewhere and that waste is a resource in the wrong place. Vice-
versa, a resource is waste in the right place.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 37

Who decides on the objectives
and implementation of the
Solid Waste Management
Practice? Administrators and faculty at Sunshine
Montessori School, Cauayan, Isabela
38 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
A multi-sectoral Committee should oversee the Program starting with the objec-
tives. The multi-sectoral committee should have representatives from:

1. Administration
2. Faculty
3. Students
4. Maintenance Office / General Services (janitorial; gardeners)
5. Cafeteria concessionaire
6. Junk dealers may be included on an ad hoc basis. They should be
consulted to determine what wastes have commercial value and which
therefore they will collect and bring to factories. Compost buyers can also
be consulted.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 39

Administration F. de Mesa School Principal

40 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

The SWMP should have a mandate from the top management because the
program will have implications on budget, space, job descriptions, schedules,
purchasing, and other aspects.

Preferably, an officer of the school should be designated as the overseer of the

entire program.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 41

Faculty Torres High School faculty at their Science Garden

42 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

The faculty can explain, guide, model, and encourage SWM and reinforce learning
through their particular subjects.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 43

Students Jose Abad Santos High School students in a tree-planting activity using compost activator

44 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Students should be involved because they form the majority of the community.
They are in the best position to say what would motivate them and facilitate their

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 45

Maintenance Office Maintenance staff of the Environmental Management Bureau

46 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

The Maintenance people are essential to the success of the SWM Program. The
janitors who collect, the gardeners who clean the grounds, the Director who ar-
ranges for the hauling of the garbage out of the campus - they know what proce-
dures are possible and what are not. They can make or break your SWM program
even though in the organizational hierarchy they are often overlooked in terms of

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 47

Cafeteria Concessionaire An F. de Mesa student delivers cafeteria bottles to their Ecowaste Center

48 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

The cafeteria generates a lot of waste, both organic or biodegradable, and inor-
ganic or non-biodegradable. Their cooperation is necessary both in terms of proper
segregation and disposal and in terms of feedback as to student behavior and
attitudes. They have to implement school decisions, e.g., if the school decides that
disposable containers should not be used.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 49

What about parents,
other members of the
community, visitors?
50 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
Other relevant sectors should be informed or consulted but they need not be part of
the SWM Committee.

Parents should be oriented because their cooperation is needed especially if their

children are in the lower grades. For example, if a school does not allow baon and
party-food in disposable containers, the parents should understand that through this
practice, the children are taught to conserve the Earths resources.

Drivers and other fetchers should be oriented on the SWM guidelines and that they are
expected to follow them too.

Trash bins for visitors areas should also allow for segregation. This is a way to help
educate the general public.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 51

What are the factors that
should be considered in
designing a SWMP? Waste characterization as practiced by residents of Sagada

52 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

The factors to consider are:
1. Objectives
2. Waste Characteristics
3. Available Resources People, Land, Money for Equipment and Infrastructure
4. Market for Recyclables and Recycled Goods
5. Use or Market for Compostables
6. External Waste Collection System
7. Beneficiary (ies) of Sale of Recyclables

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 53

Waste characterization is
important because the pre-
dominant waste determines
the method of segregation. Dealing with paper waste

54 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Waste characterization need not involve an absolutely accurate measurement of
each type of waste. This may be just a rough estimate.

In school and offices where paper is a predominant waste, it should be segregated by

itself in a separate bin. In fact , this should also be the case in most urban households
where newspaper, magazines, letters, etc. are common. In rural areas, this might
not be the case. Newspapers might have other regular uses, e.g. wrapping mangoes
ripening in the trees, lining wicker baskets of fruits, etc.

When paper waste is negligible, it is better mixed with the compostables.

If there is no predominant recyclables in large amounts, all of the non-biodegradable

recyclables can be stored together and collected or bought by junk dealers.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 55

Waste Characterization Transporting waste to a recycling facility in Calaoan, Ilocos Sur.

56 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

In rural areas where there are no junk dealers, the community should look for their
re-use or transport to the nearest recycling site.

When plastic cups in a canteen are used in enormous quantities, it makes sense to
segregate them; there is always some buyer who will be interested. Food scraps can
go to pigs feed while soiled napkins and paper wrappers can be composted.


BASIS. E.g. doy packs (aluminum foil usually containing juice) are fashioned into attrac-
tive bags, backpacks, etc., which are exported. Thus, thousands are needed. So they
can be segregated and sold for added income if the school can connect with manufac-

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 57

Waste characterization
can also be used to
monitor the progress of
a schools Solid Waste
Management program.
58 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
The form below can be used to determined initial baseline data and then regularly to
gauge whether recycling and composting are maximized while residual waste is de-


Waste Volume/ Given to/Sold/ Comments

Weight per week Collected by

Paper (kg.)
Hard Plastic (kg.)
Cans (kg.)
Glass (kg.)
Pig feed (kg./cans)
Residual waste (non-
recyclable / non-
compostable) (kg.)

The hard plastics can be further classified depending on volumes of each type, e.g.,
water bottles, plastic cups, etc. The cans can be classified into aluminum and tin

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 59

Space San Isidro National High School compost house

60 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

The composting can be done in pits, pots, cans, drums. The size and number will
depend on the volume of bio-degradable waste. Leaves can just be piled in strategic
places and moistened for faster decomposition.

A school with large grounds can have large compost pits while with limited space,
drums, pots, or the tire model can be used for composting. Fortunately small cam-
puses do not have to contend with big volumes of yard waste. (See pages 137-139
for tips on and methods of composting)

Small campuses with large population require fast turn-over of recyclables. Big popu-
lations generate big amounts of recyclables. Big volumes are worth the while of junk
dealers and they will come as often as needed.

The Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is needed in all schools. Here, the non-biode-
gradable waste is stored until collected. How large or small the MRF is, depends on the
waste volume, characterization, and space available.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 61

Human and Financial Resources Segregation House in Torres High School

62 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Segregated bins, an MRF equipment like shredders cost money.
In the MRF, segregation can be fine-tuned so that recyclables are maximally re-
trieved. This requires human resources.

Each school must decide on the optimum system where the best results are
obtained within its financial capabilities.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 63

How do you motivate
the school community?
Poster-Making Contest at the Pinaglabanan Elementary School

64 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

As educated people, the members of the school community should be made to understand the
necessity of SWM.

Actual field exposure to the ugly (uncontrolled dumpsites) and the beautiful (where SWM is
practiced properly) works wonders.

Hands-on experience primes people to continue. When they segregate or bury waste in compost
pits themselves, they will usually do it at home.

There is a wide range of other motivational strategies. Some can emphasize the negative effects
of improper garbage disposals; e.g. videos of the Payatas tragedy, of litter on the streets, esteros
and the Pasig River. Some strategies can focus on the benefits of SWM-added income either to
the school or to poor beneficiaries, conserved forests and other ecosystems, organic gardening.

Class projects using recycled materials can be effective in increasing student awareness. Knowing
that they or others can benefit from such an occupation can serve as motivation. Rag dolls,
bags, slippers, and a multitude of items can be made from scrap cloth. Plastic cups have been
fashioned into shapes like deer and the result is similar to those made of brass, and so on. There
is no limit to the possibilities.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 65

What are the elements
of a Solid Waste
Management Program? A resident of Brgy. Holy Spirit in Quezon City practicing waste segregation.

66 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

The Elements are:
Final Disposal

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 67

Generation Handling generated wastes in Cauayan, Isabela

68 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

The size of the school, the volume generated daily, the type of waste are important
information needed. After going through the whole cycle from generation to final
disposal, the generation aspect can be re-visited to see how waste can be minimized
or better managed.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 69

Segregation Segregation bins at North Fairview Elementary School.
70 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
Segregation is based on:
The Nature of Waste
Destination of the Waste

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 71

Waste is either biodegradable
or non-biodegradable. Waste Segregation at F. de Mesa School

72 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

According to nature of waste, the first broad classification that should be
used is whether the waste is biodegradable or non-biodegradable.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 73

According to destination,
biodegradable waste can
be pig feed, composted,
recycled in factories. Forest Central Park, Jose Abad Santos High School

74 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

According to destination, biodegradables can be sub-classified into pig feed, compostables,
or factory-recyclable.

In many Philippine communities, there is/are a pig raiser(s) who goes/go around doing the
collection themselves.

Pig feed is usually left-over food, fruits, and vegetable peelings.

In the absence of a pig raiser, kitchen waste as well as garden waste, wet paper, soiled
tissue, and even disposable diapers and sanitary napkins can go to the compost pit. The
composted material is good soil conditioner. Its benefit is maximized when applied to agri-
cultural crops.

Dry paper is best brought to the factory for recycling into new paper.

Do you know that at present, we are even importing waste paper to feed our factories?

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 75

Most non-biodegradable waste
is factory-recyclable. Plastic Bottles

76 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

These are cans, bottles, other containers and objects made of glass, plastic,
metal, or rubber.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 77

Packaging materials (e.g.
doy packs) can be sewn
into trendy crafts. Doy packs are transformed into crafts in Candon, Ilocos Sur.

78 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Effort should be made to re-use non-biodegradable non-recyclable items. Some commu-
nities have programs especially for this, e.g. doy packs are used for making trendy bags;
when shredded they can be used as toy stuffing. Tetra-paks are used for seedling prepara-
tion, colored plastics are made into Christmas lanterns.

Otherwise, these materials are a dead-end. They are residuals. The only option for them is
burial in ones yard, a community dumpsite or landfill. Therefore, their use should be

However, this is true for any kind of waste. Unless it is brought to where it can be useful
again, its use should be minimized.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 79

What about hazardous objects
like batteries, fluorescent
lamps, broken thermometers,
paint cans, etc.? Drums containing toxic chemicals.

80 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

These are considered special wastes.
They can be included with the dry recyclables since there are some entrepreneurs
who extract materials from some of them. Most junk dealers are familiar with
the network of recyclers.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 81

What about styrofoam?
Paper cups? Alternative gardening using styrofoam fruit boxes in F. de Mesa School

82 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Polystyrene, more popularly known as styrofoam, can be recycled and the Polysty-
rene Council of the Philippines has a program for this. However, it is limited in scope at
present but the Council is exploring ways by which to expand its coverage. Until the
program is expanded so that styrofoam is recycled regularly like glass bottles are, the
best thing to do about styrofoam is to re-use it. Styrofoam can be included in the bin
for recyclables if arrangements are made with the recyclables collector. Otherwise, it is
residual waste.

Paper cups, if coated, take a long time to degrade. They should be torn or shredded
prior to disposal.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 83

The classification of waste and
number of waste bins in a
school or areas of the school
will depend on the predomi-
nant type of waste in the area.

Each school should develop its

own system based on its ob-
jectives and resources.
84 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
Some examples of school areas and the respective waste generated in big
volumes which should be allotted separate bins:

Softdrink Cans
Paper and Plastic Cups Tissue
Paper Products Mineral Water Bottles Feminine Napkins
Pig Feed
Paper Napkins


Recyclables Pig Feed Other Residuals

Softdrink Cans Compostables
Plastic Cups Paper Napkins
Mineral Water Bottles

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 85

Who collects the waste
from the school? Garbage Collectors

86 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

There is a network through which recyclables are made into new products. The first
mode in the network may be the ambulant bote dyaryo collectors and their karetons.
Their collection is bought by junk dealers who have storage warehouses. They then sell
to the manufacturers of recycled products like glass bottles, aluminum cans, rubber
products. For plastics, an intermediate step is the factory where recyclable plastic is
pelletized. The pellets are then used by manufacturers of recycled plastic products.


Bote Junk Manufacturers
Dyaryo Dealers

plastic Plastic Pelletizers

For schools, the chain of buyers may start from the junk dealer or the factory truck.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 87

Compostable waste can be:
1. composted by the school
2. collected by composter Composter

88 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

School Compost
Area Compost

Organic Waste Buyer

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 89

Who benefit(s) from
the sale of waste? Alay-Tanim Pangkabuhayan Project, F. de Mesa School.

90 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

The beneficiaries may be:
1) the school
2) janitors
3) student projects
4) the faculty club

This is a decision point and will also have a bearing on the collection scheme.

Schools which do not care to earn from their waste should just see to it that their
segregated waste is picked up by entities which are responsible and who will bring their
waste to where they will become precious resources again.

The benefits can be either 1) direct income distributed to the members of the sector, e.g.
janitors, 2) added to a special fund, e.g. the seniors yearbook, investigatory projects, or
an outreach program, or 3) a savings and loan fund for the employees.

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 91

Final Disposal Elevated compost piles, University of the Philippines, Diliman

92 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

Final Disposal is either:
1) In factories
2) In compost pit
3) In dumpsite / landfill
4) As pig / animals feed

Solid Waste Management Module for Schools 93

In summary:
Trash bins at F. Torres High School

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Pig Feed
_____ Pig Raisers
Compostable _____ Soil

Dry Paper _____ Others
_____ Factory

Recyclable _____ Glass

( E c o n o m i - _____ Plastic
cally Valu- _____ Aluminum Cans
Non-biodegradable able) _____ Etc.

Residual (Not
Economically _____ Landfill/dumpsite

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Evaluation Students of North Fairview Elementary School
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Review your objectives

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Did you want to have
cleaner surroundings? Fish pond with tilapia, cared for by the students
98 of Nemesio Yabut Elementary School
Solid Waste Management Module for Schools
Answer the question:
Are your grounds cleaner?

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Did you want to protect
human health? Ecological House at North Fairview Elementary School
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Answer the question:
Have you addressed the problem of flies, roaches, rats, etc. that crawl all over
your garbage area?

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Did you want to alleviate
the dumpsite crisis?
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Answer the question:
Have you lessened the garbage brought to your dumpsite or landfill? (Use the
monitoring form to track your reduction of residual waste.)

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Did you want to turn
waste into resource and
slow down depletion of
the Earths resources? Recycled products in exhibit in Barangay Holy Spirit , Quezon City

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Answer the question:
Have you segregated recyclables and sent/brought them to factories,
junkshops, or recycling centers?

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Did you wish to earn
income from your
own waste?
Money from Scrap Exhibit, Jose Abad Santos High School
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Answer the question:
Have you earned income from the sale of your recyclable waste? Your compost?

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Did you intend to go into
livelihood projects and
earn income from crafts
and other products? Recycled Products produced by students of Cagayan de Oro schools

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Answer the question:
Have you established your livelihood system and earned money from your crafts
and other products?

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What are the main tasks
that are needed to start
and maintain operation? A lesson in Solid Waste Management in a Sagada school

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Education Students of Pinaglabanan Elementary School learn about organic fertilizers

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The Committee must have a plan for educating all sectors involved: the waste genera-
tors (which means everyone!), the teachers, the collectors, etc.

A sub-committee for education must manage this aspect.

Curricular integration can be effected through

Chemistry which can explain the nature and differences of the different types of
biodegradable, non-biodegradable recyclable waste
Biology which can explain how microorganisms break down organic matter.
Earth Science which can discuss soils, biogeochemical cycles, and pollution.
Christian Life Education/Ethics which can discuss SWM as a social responsibility
Homeroom which can discuss the SWM system of the school
Music, poetry, . . . to inspire love for nature
Other subjects as the faculty sees fit.

Behavioral indicators of the students internalization of the value of SWM are just as
important. Do they not litter? Do they segregate according to the prescribed system?

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Compost pit in Stella Maris

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Another sub-committee must take charge of the number and type of bins,
composting pits, collection pushcarts, storage area, etc.

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Enforcement Silvestre Lazaro Elementary School receives a plaque for being the Second Place in
Ecological Garden from former Valenzuela City Mayor Emmanuel Carlos
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The work of enforcement involves monitoring, incentives, sanctions. This is a
major decision point. Do you rely on positive or on negative motivation?

Are all the sectors doing their job? Who or what are the weak links in the entire

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Enterprise A Materials Recovery Facility Souvenir Store in Calaoan, Ilocos Sur

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If a school wants to earn income from its waste, raw or made into crafts, a
financial system must be set up.

What extra and other resources are needed? Who manages crafts manufacture?
Who collects the income? Who benefits?

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Components of Solid Waste Management for Schools


Faculty slogans
Personnel posters
recyclers Cross Visits
Waste Segragation LGUs
hog raisers
waste characterization compost buyers
nature and destination Composting Curricular
sorting scheme Integration
collection container
storage organic gardening

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Incentives Manufacture
and Sale (if applicable)
Organization Sanctions
Beneficiary product
Head development
Committee marketing
Policy Monitoring financing
Formulation and

(if applicable)

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Guidelines for School
Solid Waste Manage-
ment Programs Students turning over used paper and bottles at the
Eco-Waste Center, F. de Mesa School
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We hope the step-by-step guide has been helpful.

In summary:

A. Guidelines for School Solid Waste Management Programs

1. Start with the end in mind.

Conceptualize your SWM program from generation to segregation to collection to final

disposal to minimize frustration. The scheme will be based on

a. Your Objectives
Do you want to earn income from your recyclables? If you do, your waste segregation
will be different from that if e.g. you just want to help reduce the dumpsite crisis. If you
want to sell your compost, you need to take steps that you need not take otherwise.

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b. Your Waste Characterization
Segregating predominant waste, whether you intend to sell them or not, ensures
maximum retrieval by recyclers. In schools, a lot of paper is generated. It makes
sense to segregate them.

c. Receptors/Buyers of Your Waste

If there are pig raisers who can buy or pick up your food waste, why not segregate
these? If there is a community who can make use of your doy packs, you might
want to have a separate container for them.

d. Your Resources Human, Material, Financial

Who will manage the program? Where will you situate your Materials Recovery
Facility (MRF), if any? How much space you have will determine your composting
scheme. Does your type and volume of waste warrant a shredder?

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2. The bases for segregation are the nature and the final destination of waste.
Classifying into biodegradable and non-biodegradable is the simplest mode but raises still
a lot of questions. Biodegradables can go either to pig raisers or to the compost pit. Dry
paper is biodegradable but it is best recycled. Non-biodegradables can be either recyclables
or residulas. Recyclables go to factories, residuals go to the dumpsite or kept in dry and
clean condition until use can be found for them.

3. The SWMP must have a mandate from top Administration.

The journey towards an efficient and effective SWMP requires patience, determination,
and political will. The program requires resources which only management can decide

4. A written school policy is most advisable for the guidance of all.

5. The committee to oversee the project must have representatives from the pertinent
sectors of the school.

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Administration knows the management constraints; faculty must know how to guide
the students; students can give feedback as to what works and what doesnt; mainte-
nance people are nearest to the implementation; the Maintenance Officer deals with
the haulers, etc.

6. As a rule, there must be one person or group determined to make the whole

7. Practice what you teach.

Those who teach and enforce the SWMP must practice SWMP at home themselves.

In the academe, it is also important to synthesize ideas into basic concepts on which
implementation will be based.

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B. Basic Concepts in Segregation

1. Waste becomes a resource by disposing of it in a manner that makes it useful


2. Materials recovery is maximized when segregation is at source. The finer the

classification, the higher the rate of retrieval for each type of waste.

3. Theoretically, any material is recyclable. However, only those waste materials which
are commercially valuable are retrieved by recyclers.

4. Paper when generated in sizable amounts, is best recycled,i.e., brought back to

factories. This is because it is not easily biodegraded. Also, our factories need more
waste paper as stock for raw material. Recycling of paper avoids importation and the
cutting of trees.

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5. Residuals are those which are not biodegradable nor commercially valuable
and which are the only waste that should go to the dumpsite. However, some
residual waste can be used for crafts.

6. Toxic and hazardous waste such as small batteries, cans of hazardous mate-
rials such as paints, pesticides and solvents should be separated and should
have a separate place in the dumpsite. Otherwise, when dissolved by water or
other solvents, they can be the source of hazardous leachate.

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To repeat: without SWM, we will experience:

1. continuous piling up of garbage in dumpsites or landfills

2. garbage in streets and rivers

3. leachates or hazardous and toxic juice poisoning ground water, aquifers

4. rapid loss of forests for paper, beach sand for glass, petroleum for plastic, and
other natural resources for all the materials that go into the products we use

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Some models of SWM in Schools An information board about the essence
of Ecological Solid Waste Management
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1. Marist School in Marikina has a totally zero waste program. It contributes
nothing to the dumpsites of Metro Manila. Its recyclables are bought by junk dealers.
Their doy packs go to Kilus Foundation, a non-governmental organization which
provides livelihood for grassroots communities who are its partners in the manufac-
ture and export of bags and other items made from this type of waste. The kitchen
waste is used as pig feed while its garden waste is composted. Its residual waste is
shredded, compacted, baled, and stored to await the day when this can be re-used
or recycled. At strategic places in the campus are sets of waste sacks where the
common wastes of the school community are segregated at source.

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2. Miriam College in Quezon City has a long
SWM history of trial and error. Its present scheme
includes creative techniques to improve segrega-
tion at source. For one, the labels for the waste
bins use actual specific objects. It has proved ex-
tremely effective probably because it requires only
a one-step mental process, as opposed to the
usual classification where one has to decide
whether the waste in ones hand is biodegrad-
able, compostable, recyclable, or residual. Another innovation is the cage for the
aluminum cans from soft drinks. The students get a kick out of shooting the cans into
the hole on top. The cage is accompanied by a small pail where the students throw

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the left over soft drink liquid. Currently being
experimented on is the composting of feminine nap-
kins; the rate of generation and composting is be-
ing observed to see if the school can go into it full-

The other features of the SWM are standard. Pig

raisers collect the food scraps from the canteens
directly. Wet tissue and other biodegradable waste
join the garden waste in the compost pits. Recyclables are bought by a junk dealer.
Eco-boys further segregate the waste brought to the Materials Recovery Facility.

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The financial beneficiaries of the SWM are:

College building janitors from the sale of all recyclables from the college area.

Grade School & High Schools janitors - from the sale of plastic cups and mineral
water bottles from the cafetorium.

Grade School students from the sale of aluminum cans.

Gardeners from the sale of recyclables found in the grounds and from the garden
waste which they compost for their vegetable garden.

3. Xavier School in San Juan focuses on the segregation of recyclables from ev-
erything else. The paper is classified into bond, newsprint, and cardboard. It has an
arrangement with a plastics company whereby the schools recyclables are collected

134 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

by the latter for free. The company pelletizes the waste plastic and sells the pellets
to other factories which manufactures other plastic items. The other wastes like
aluminum cans are delivered to the respective factories for recycling. In computing
for the financial bottom line, the school comes out ahead; whereas it used to pay
the garbage hauler to come by twice a week, the hauler now comes and is paid only
once a week.

4. Assumption in Antipolo has an impressive feature in its SWM program: its

vegetable garden fertilized by its compost. The produce is shared by the nuns with
Wits staff and friends in the surrounding community.

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Some Tips on Composting Bio-composting Area at Tagpanui High School in Cagayan de Oro

136 Solid Waste Management Module for Schools

What is Composting?

Composting refers to the controlled decomposition of organic matter by micro-organisms,

mainly bacteria and fungi, into humus-like product.

How to Make a Compost

1. Chop the biodegradable wastes into finer portions. The smaller the size of organic wastes,
the faster the compost will be ready for use.

2. Mix-up the biodegradable wastes and place them into the composters. Do not burn on top
of the piles or composters because the heat will kill the biological decomposers, thus, delaying
the composting process.

3. Sprinkle a small amount of water. Moisture is essential for microbial activity. Protect the
composters from accumulating too much liquid to avoid leaching.

4. Sprinkle or layer with soil so as not to invite flies and to control odors. Place the soil in
between the layers of the mixture.

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5. Aerate the pile. Turn it once or twice a month to provide the necessary oxygen to hasten the
composting process.

6. When the interior of the pile is no longer hot and the material has broken down into a dark and
dry soil, the composting is finished.

Types of Small Scale Composters


Dig into (1m x 1m x 1m) one-half meter apart. Put small twigs at the bottom and place a hallow
tube for air inlet. Follow the rules for composting, using the pits by turns. For an average
household, it might take a month to fill up each pit, thus allowing sufficient time for the materials
to decompose or mature into soil conditioners.


Make two piles of old car tires directly on the ground and use them as containers for composting.
To aerate, just insert anything in between the tires. If placed directly on cemented ground, line
the bottom with soil.

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Old drums, cans, plastic water containers with the bottoms off, even an old jute or rice sack
with bottom seam ripped off and supported by three pegs or cheap posts.


Have ten flower pots. Use flower pots by turns. By the time the tenth pot is full, in about a
months time, empty contents of the first pot and use as soil conditioner for plants/trees/lawn.
Pots may be stacked one on top of another but keep contents moist.


Line plastic bags with soil, place chopped biodegradables top with soil/leaves, moisten, then
stack them one top of another while awaiting collection. In few weeks time, these become
clean, safe, odorless compost, very good for plants.


These may be constructed from chicken wire or any durable basket material for small scale
composting. They are designed to adequately accommodate the necessary materials or ingre-
dients and to allow access of air.

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Thank you for being Stewards
of Gods creation! Kids at the DENR Day Care Center
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The completion of this Solid Waste Management Module for Schools would not have been possible, if
not for the invaluable support and assistance of the following, and are, thus gratefully acknowledged:

Engr. Julian Amador, Director of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)

Atty. Fernandino Concepcion, EMB Assistant Director

Dr. Angelina Galang,Writer of this module and Executive Director of the Environmental Studies
Institute of Miriam College

Mr. Albert Magalang, Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Commission
(NSWMC) Secretariat

Ms. Elenida del Rosario-Basug, Chief of the Environmental Education and Information Division
(EEID) of the EMB

Mr. Noel Castelo, Information Section Chief of the EMBs EEID

Engrs. Margarita Caridad and Janet Yanto and Ms. Delia Valdez of the NSWMC Secretariat

Mr. Harry Quaioit , Ms. Ma. Cristina Francisco, Ms. Alona Arreza, and Mr. Timoteo Idea of the

Ms. Iva Joy Borja, Lay-out Artist, of the EMBs EEID

The photographs were culled from selected submissions of regional solid waste management initiatives
from the EMB Regional Offices, and from selected entries to the Nationwide Search for Model Barangays
on Eco-Waste Management System (2004). Acknowledgement is also extended to these submissions.

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