waste management

MMDA garbage collection expenses now over P3 billion amid growing waste

James Patrick Cruz

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MMDA garbage collection expenses now over P3 billion amid growing waste


Alongside Metro Manila's increasing garbage volume, the expenses of MMDA for garbage collection are also ballooning

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spent P3.336 billion in 2022 on garbage collection, nearly double compared to what it shelled out in 2017.

MMDA garbage collection expenses now over P3 billion amid growing waste

This is based on the agency’s environment/sanitary services expenses, which pertain to the “payment of fees to several entities contracted by the MMDA to collect garbage in various areas of Metro Manila.”

In 2017, MMDA spent P1.764 billion for garbage collection, which rose to P1.990 billion in 2018.

The MMDA spent P2.873 billion and P3.217 billion, in 2020 and 2021, respectively, for garbage collection.

The agency’s expense for garbage collection breached the P3 billion mark in 2021.

‘Tipping fees’

Although garbage collection is primarily the responsibility of local governments in Metro Manila, the agency is responsible for paying the tipping fees in sanitary landfills, MMDA acting chairperson Don Artes said in an Inquirer article.

A tipping fee, also known as a gate fee, refers to the payment required from individuals or entities when they dispose of waste in a landfill. This fee is calculated based on the weight of the waste per ton.

For nearly two decades since 2002, the tipping rates for waste disposal in landfills remained unchanged at P171 per cubic meter.

In 2018, three contracted landfills – San Mateo sanitary landfill; International Swims Incorporated in Rodriguez, Rizal; Phileco at the Navotas landfill – sent a letter requesting a 100-percent increase in tipping fees. Their reasons included the rise in gas prices and the peso-dollar exchange rate.

The MMDA sought additional funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in 2019 to accommodate the increase, and the DBM approved a 50% hike, considering it a reasonable adjustment.

As a result, the tipping fee rose from P171 to P257 per cubic meter.

Artes clarified that this increase was not due to higher expenditures but rather the approval granted by the DBM to pay 50% more in fees.

He also cited the increase in the volume of waste coming from food, and packaging from online shopping.

Artes mentioned that while two of the contracted landfills could still accommodate waste, the one in Navotas may reach its full capacity within two to three years.

To address the growing trash problem in Navotas, the MMDA is currently studying waste-to-energy conversion, with plans to complete the study within the year.

Increase in garbage waste

The estimated waste generated in Metro Manila has been increasing through the years as its population continues to rise, according to data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB).

In 2019, DENR-EMB estimated that Metro Manila produced 9,333 tons of waste per day.

From 2010 to 2019, Metro Manila was highest producer of waste in the country, except in 2016 and 2017.

Since the enactment of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act over 20 years ago, solid waste generation in the country has consistently risen from 9.07 million metric tons in 2000 to 16.63 million metric tons in 2020. – Rappler.com

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