To address the growing concerns about environmental sustainability and waste management, the College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR) underwent a seminar on UPLB’s Waste-at-Source Segregation (WASS) Project on January 22, 2024 at the Nicolas P. Lansigan Auditorium.
The seminar was led by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA), the lead implementer of the WASS Project, which is based on OVCCA Memo 2012-026 entitled Waste Segregation at Source.
Vice Chancellor Roberto Cereno gave a thorough overview of the project’s history during the seminar. According to him, UPLB garbage hauling and disposal entail high costs. With UPLB’s daily trash volume of 36 cubic meters and the hauling cost of PhP 1,300 per cubic meter, the monthly outlay totals PhP 1.4 million.
He further explained that putting the WASS Project into action could enable UPLB to use the money to purchase classroom supplies, office furniture, and lab equipment instead.
VC Cereno also mentioned the waste-to-energy initiative, which is currently being studied as an innovative waste management technique in UPLB.
On October 20, 2021, UPLB launched a 25kW Waste-to-Energy Facility via Direct Combustion Process for Municipal Solid Waste funded by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCIEERD).
CFNR Dean Marlo D. Mendoza expressed his commitment and support to the WASS Project. He shared with the participants his 15-year household practice of implementing zero waste management and segregation at source.
Dean Mendoza also emphasized the importance of waste management at the College level and achieving zero waste in the following years.
Engineer Christian Paulo Altoveros, UPLB’s pollution control officer, presented the procedure for proper waste segregation at the source. He emphasized the need for safe handling and labeling of various waste types, including the hazardous materials commonly used by CFNR in its laboratories.
He also introduced a standardized application promoting the principles of waste avoidance, reduction, reuse, recycling, and disposal, encapsulated in an inverted pyramid framework.
To institutionalize the waste management system, OVCCA implemented a waste collection system. The plastics collection is on Mondays and Wednesdays, while the paper collection is scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The collection of metals, glass-based products, and recyclables is on Fridays. Food waste is collected daily. (Mario Tercero)