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Trash in Manila:

A Case Study for Alternative Courses of Action

A Requirement in National Service Training Program

Mr. Levi Albania

Submitted by:
Louie Carlos
Jesus Castro
Erika Javier
Jan Ivan Montenegro

March 28, 2019

Background and Summary

According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Manila’s

solid waste problem in 2018 reached to fifty-six thousand cubic meters of trash per day.

As we walk around the streets of Manila, trash and litter could be seen scattered

around. Dumped along sidewalks, the canals and rivers. This would lead to blocking

sewages and flooding around the area whenever there is heavy rain or a thunderstorm.

Time and Place Context

In this graph provided by the National Solid Waste Management Commission

(NSWMC) in 2018, the projected waste generation of Metro Manila in 2020 would be at

an estimate of four million metric tons. This four million makes up for twenty-five percent

of the projected waste generated by the whole Philippines.

Problem Statement

Metro Manila has been very polluted with solid waste for decades now. Despite

the many government and local policies around the Capital of the Philippines, solid

waste is still a big problem and proper waste disposal is still not practiced to the fullest

by many Filipinos.


The following are the objectives of this case study:

1. Provide alternative solutions concerning proper waste disposal in Manila.

2. Promote proper waste disposal so citizens of Metro Manila can learn more about

the issue and how to prevent it.

3. Educate and spread awareness about the current state of Manila with regards to


Alternative Courses of Action

Listed below are the alternative courses of action (ACA) for solving the

trash problem in Manila.

1. Promote recycling among local communities.

2. Plastic Ban

3. Impose larger fines towards littering and improper waste disposal by

establishments and companies.

4. Clean up drives.

ACA Waste Reduction Instill environmental Sustainability:

discipline among Be able to be
Filipinos effective until

Promote -Cannot clean up current Can teach older and If consistent,

recycling waste / unrecyclable trash younger generations could lead to
about the importance plastic/trash
of recycling free

Plastic Ban -Cannot clean up current Some Filipinos may Strict

waste / unrecyclable trash view it as a nuisance implementati
instead of a benefit. ons by LGU’s
needed to

Larger Fines on -Cannot clean up current -Some form of Strict

Littering and waste / unrecyclable trash discipline. implementati
Improper Waste -Some Filipinos may ons by LGU’s
Disposal view it as a nuisance needed to
instead of a benefit. maintain

Clean up Drives - Can clean up large Act of Volunteering -Clean up

amounts of trash in an drives should
area. be held

Analysis of the ACAs have been done using three criterias created by the

researchers. These criterias are: the ability to clean up solid waste, the ability to instill

environmental discipline among Filipinos, and the ability to be sustainable and be

effective until future generations.

From the table above, most of the ACAs are policies and regulations on waste

disposal/management and cannot clean up the current waste on the streets, with the

exception of clean up drives. Plastic ban and larger fines can instill discipline among

Filipinos, yet it can put pressure onto the consumers.

Promoting recycling is the most effective ACA identified in the table.

Implementations should be done on a larger scale, with manufacturers and consumers

included. Yet, consistency and regular implementation of recycling is important for it to

be sustainable and maintain effectivity throughout future generations.


● Sticking into one solution would not be feasible considering that there will always

be pros and cons.

● The trash problem in Manila cannot be easily solved within a short span of time.
○ Patience and consistency is needed.
● Every unit of the society (Households, Gov’t and Companies) should all do their
part in maintaining and cleaning.
● Every Filipino should realize and teach the importance of recycling and proper
waste disposal/management.


Waste to Energy (WTEs) plants are being put into use by other countries, most

notably in Sweden. The Scandinavian country has thirty-two WTE plants, resulting in

ninety-nine percent of trash of the country are being processed, where only one percent

goes into landfills. The remaining waste are segregated between recyclable waste and
waste that would be used for incineration. WTEs provide electrical energy for Swedish

homes by incinerating the waste.

WTE plant is still relatively young in the Philippines. As of January of 2019,

DENR pushes to have WTEs in the country. Yet, there is conflict with the law that makes

it impossible for WTEs to happen. RA 8749 prohibits waste incineration while RA 9003

promotes waste segregation, recycling and composting. Revision of these laws is first

needed in order for waste to energy plants could happen in the country.


Layug, M. (2018, November 6). Metro Manila garbage problem ‘worse’ this year with
56,000 cubic meters of trash a day —MMDA. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from

Molland, J. (2014, September 13). The Swedish Revolution: Turning 99% of Garbage
Into Energy. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from

Theves, C. (2018, June 6). LGUs urged to reward environment-friendly businesses.

Retrieved March 28, 2019, from

Theves, C. (2019, January 22). DENR pursues waste-to-energy option. Retrieved

March 28, 2019, from