As I ran in Corregidor 10 miler last Sunday, December 6, 2009…I noticed that although that place was still unexplored and untouched, the water that surrounds that beautiful island is full of filth and garbages.
And eventhough I saw a man cleaning these files of mess, Garbage In…
…I’m disappointed because he’s only returning those foul matters at the sea, Garbage Out!
Now, since proper waste disposal is a major problem not only in the Philippines but also around the world, let me share with you some important facts regarding this topic, taken from EnvironmentalChemistry.com., courtesy of Rox Pena of Sun.Star…
* 6,500 BC in North America – Archeological studies shows a clan of Native Americans produced an average of 2.4 kilos of waste a day. That’s a lot considering that the average Filipino generates only half a kilo of waste a day.
* 500 BC in Athens, Greece – first municipal dump in western world was organized. Regulations required waste to be dumped at least a mile from the city limits, probably because it stinks!
* 1388 in England – English parliament bars waste dispersal in public waterways and ditches.
* 1400 in Paris, France – Garbage piles so high outside of Paris gates that it interferes with city defense. This is probably the biggest recorded open dumpsite during those times.
* 1690 in Philadelphia – Rittenhouse Mill, Philadelphia makes paper from recycled fibers taken from wastepaper and rags.
* 1842 in England – A report links disease to filthy environmental conditions. The age of sanitation begins. The Bubonic Plague, cholera and typhoid fever were probably caused by garbage that harbored rats and contaminated water supply.
The common practice in those days is to throw garbage, including human waste, out of the window for stray dogs to eat.
* 1874 in Nottingham, England – A new technology called “the Destructor” provided the first systematic incineration of refuse in this part of the world. Before this machine, burning is accidental, caused by methane generation.
* 1885 in Governor’s Island, New York – The first garbage incinerator was built in the United States.
* 1889 in Washington, DC – Washington DC reported that they are running out of appropriate places for refuse. Sounds familiar?
* 1896 in the United States – Waste reduction plants arrive in the U.S. They were used for compressing organic waste, but were later closed due to foul odor.
* 1898 in New York, U.S. – Establishment of the first garbage sorting plant for recycling.
* 1900 – Piggeries were developed to eat fresh or cooked garbage.
* 1914, New York – There are about 300 incinerators in the United States for burning trash.
* 1920s – Landfills were becoming a popular way of reclaiming swampland while getting rid of trash.
* 1954 in Olympia Washington – Olympia Washington pays for return of aluminum cans. Probably the first good news as far as metal scrap recycling is concern.
* 1965 – The first federal solid waste management laws in the United States were enacted.
* 1968 – Companies in the United States began to buy back and recycle containers.
* 1970 – The first Earth Day was celebrated in the United States, which was a result of various protest actions by citizens on the deteriorating environmental conditions.
* 1976 in the U.S. – The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act was enacted emphasizing recycling and Hazardous Waste Management.
* 1979 in the U.S. – The EPA issued criteria prohibiting open dumping.
* 2000- The Ecological Solid Waste management Act of 2000, or RA 9003, was enacted in the Philippines.
WHEN Republic Act (RA) 9003 was passed, I thought that we will finally see the end of the garbage problem. Almost nine years after, it seems that we’ve made little progress or no success at all!
Remember what Ondoy did to us?
Although I conquered Corregidor, I’m not totally satisfied.
Let us learn from history because we cannot deceive Mother Nature.
If we will not act now, she will have the last laugh.
God be Praised!