ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Three towns in Zamboanga del Norte province have upgraded their solid waste management programs through assistance from the Department of Science and Technology.
The DOST partnered with the local governments of Katipunan, Leon Postigo, and Tampilisan municipalities through the agency's Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).
Martin Wee, DOST regional director, said the P5.5 million in assistance helped the towns acquire new equipment like a bioreactor, plastic ‘densifier’, and shredder developed by DOST's Industrial Technology Development Institute.
The bioreactor converts biodegradable waste into organic compost that can be used as soil conditioner for urban gardening or farming. The plastic densifier, on the other hand, processes non-biodegradable waste such as plastic, cellophane and styrofoam into usable flower pots and decorative blocks.
The equipment has helped other towns in Zamboanga del Norte reduce their solid waste.
Engineer John Fuerzas, municipal environment and natural resources officer of Sergio Osmeña, said their waste material recovery program has helped lessen the town's trash.
"Instead of just dumping the waste materials, we are able to convert them into compost and distribute it to farmers," Fuerzas said.
The Sergio Osmeña waste material recovery facility is currently producing 100 bags of compost monthly. These are distributed to farmers and flower growers and used in the LGU's gardening program.
Engineer Roger Ladera of Polanco town said they regularly distribute compost to some 200 farmers in their municipality. Each farmer gets 150 kilos of compost.
The waste management programs of Sergio Osmeña and Polanco were funded in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
The DOST in Region 9, through the Provincial Science and Technology Center in Zamboanga del Norte, has assisted nine local government units in the province with funding assistance of more than P15 million. — The STAR/Roel Pareño