Latest Stories

Metro Manila produces a fourth of Philippine garbage


BOUNTY OF THE BAY. Scavengers scour the heap of garbage washed ashore the Manila Bay in Roxas Boulevard Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

BOUNTY OF THE BAY. Scavengers scour the heap of garbage washed ashore the Manila Bay in Roxas Boulevard Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The excesses of “Imperial Manila” seem to stink to high heavens.

Residents of Metro Manila generate so much garbage that they are responsible for one-fourth of the country’s daily output of solid waste, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

A single resident produces an average of 0.7 kilogram of waste a day, about “130 percent higher” than the global average of 0.3 kg per person per day, said Emy Aguinaldo, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Commission, an attached agency of the DENR.

Citing records from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the DENR said Metro Manila produced about 8,400 to 8,600 tons of trash per day.

That volume already accounts for about 25 percent of the country’s daily solid waste generation of some 35,000 tons, the DENR noted.

About half of the garbage from Metro Manila is biodegradable waste such as food scraps, leftovers, and animal carcasses. About 17 percent are paper while 16 percent are plastics. The rest are discarded metal, ceramics, rubber, and leather.

Small but terrible

With a population of around 11.5 million, Metro Manila accounts for 13 percent of the nationwide total. Its 636-square meter urban sprawl covers a mere 0.21 percent of the country’s total land area.

Of the 16 cities and one municipality making up Metro Manila, only nine cities have a solid waste management plan, Aguinaldo told the Inquirer yesterday.

About a third of the biodegradable waste from these nine cities is recycled into compost, she said.

Metro Manila residents, however, rarely engage in recycling because of limited space, Aguinaldo noted.

Environment Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje on Monday said he had ordered 4,717 homeowners associations in condominiums and subdivisions in Metro Manila to segregate their garbage to help speed up collection and sorting.

The DENR has forged partnerships with 11 local government units to enforce the order, he said.

Better organized

“Subdivisions and condominiums are very critical in our advocacy because residents here are already organized and governed by their respective homeowners associations. Getting them to practice waste segregation and composting will hopefully not be as difficult as they will feel the immediate benefits in terms of cleaner and greener surroundings,” Paje said.

“This way, we will not only be reducing the volume of wastes thrown in landfills but also those that are indiscriminately dumped in esteros and other waterways,” he added.

He said Metro Manila residents had become such prolific litterbugs that the supposedly local problem of household garbage had become a national concern.

Uncollected trash that clog waterways and drainage systems is one of the major causes of floods and disease outbreaks whose effects could be felt beyond the capital, Paje stressed.

“From flooding to dengue, from polluted rivers and creeks to mountains of trash, from the unnecessary death of fishes that accidentally swallowed plastic bags in the seas to global warming, garbage is the common denominator,” the environment secretary said in a statement. With report from Inquirer Research

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Department of Environment and Natural Resources , garbage output , Metro Manila , Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) , MMDA records , National Solid Waste Management Commission

  • Anonymous

    That’s a lot of business opportunity and hidden gold.  Kung paandarin lamang ang kagalingan at abilidad ng  Pinoy, “tiyak yon” na pagkakakitaan ng malaki ang basura na yan.  ’Ika nga ng kano, “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure”.

  • http://twitter.com/CrocLolong CrocLolong


    • http://twitter.com/punctuationmarc Marc Anthony Biay

      Stating the obvious. Malamang, nasaan ba ang Senado at Kongreso? Nasa Palawan ba?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R6KRXBONEUNUDYDRR5FTUZAY4A Edongski

    …is this accurate? what about the transient population of Metro Manila??? are they included in this report??? if this is true then all local government heads should sit down and discuss this… or alternatively metro manila’s representatives to congress and our honorable senators should “investigate” this and come up with a legislation to counter this threat… instead of grandstanding with investigations that are going no where..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EXFI4EUGM23PQ4FMQKLVH36OXI Jose

    Of course Metro Manila produces a lot of garbage, it’s where the Senate is based.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_K5DIX3YZ5AEOOKY6HT73NATD2E Jude

    Awareness is a good start, anything further on the solution side? From tha picture I do see a lot of commercially sourced waste, I would guess these are wrappers, laminates, diapers that even the scrap collector would discard. A system must be ut in place and accountable. As a solution, I suggest that the manufacturer be made accountable of the post consumer waste. To  buy them back and dispose them accordiungly as they have developed them, eventually imrpove on their next product and packaging. If they could not elimunate the need of disposable packaging, then they have to make it recyclable to make it sellable. One it woudl be sellable, the scrap collectors would be eager to collect them, at the end no waste left in the dump.

  • Anonymous

    That will be come a great source of electric energy. kong hindi nila na over exaggerated ang clean green act. High tech incineration plant is really needed in metro manila that will produced a electric power that will help also the power lost in Metro.

    Senate and congress its about time to make a second look into the high tech incineration plant.

  • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

    there is money in trash
    kaya ganyan ang nangyayari

    mas maraming na deliver na basura kasi
    mas malaking kita

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLKTGBCZBSPFLNDHUEBEHDN5Z4 renante

    Manila is populated by PIGS!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jddianala John Dale

    “Its 636-square meter urban sprawl covers a mere 0.21 percent of the country’s total land area.”

    I believe it’s supposed to be “636-square-kilometer urban sprawl.”

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  • Palace prepared to charge its allies
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • PH, HK end bitter row; sanctions lifted
  • Marketplace