Return to site



· Volume IV Issue III

In every minute of operation everywhere, waste is generated. Waste is inevitable but the least that a person can do is to find a way that a material can still be used further to the extent of being “sulit.” Morning starts with a breakfast. And in breakfast, we may eat egg leaving egg shell as a waste. We may be drinking an instant coffee where it was from a plastic sachet - a plastic waste. School canteen offers snack with plastic as its wrap. The contents were eaten and the plastic will go where? When the learners are done using their papers for its purpose, it is considered a trash- a waste.

What is the role of school in Waste Management? As DepEd holds its core values Makakalikasan, one way of showing it is through the practice of proper Solid waste Management. The Republic Act 9003 Section 56 mandates Department of Education to:

“…strengthen the integration of environmental concerns in school curricula at all levels, with particular emphasis on the theory and practice of waste management principles like waste minimization, specifically resource conservation and recovery, segregation at source, reduction, recycling, re-use and composting, in order to promote environmental awareness and action among the citizenry.”


School children at young age were taught of simple life skills like how to put their trash on the trash bin. The heart and soul of proper solid waste management is segregation. Its idea is all individuals must place the trash in a proper waste bin separating the trash type on the moment they were created. Waste Segregation discipline lost its essence on this common malpractice where trash is collected altogether in a bin and there is a particular person or group of individuals that will segregate it. Through sustainable and efficient waste segregation, recyclable and biodegradable wastes are pre-selected leaving a minimal amount of residual waste. With this practice, landfills are preserved due to minimal space over a long period of time will be occupied.

Some schools intend to keep the trash bins away particularly in classrooms thinking that eliminating trash bins in public places avoids piling of trash hence promoting zero waste. On the other hand, this shows great misconception on zero waste principle. As the law mandates and as mentioned earlier, the department of education is expected to practice segregation at source in order to promote environmental awareness.

Waste segregation does not end in placing three color-coded or labeled trash bins. Efficient planning to sustain waste segregation policies is far better than avoiding it through implementing “No trash bin” in classrooms which what mostly called it “Zero Waste.” Zero means nothing. But the sad reality is there is waste! The idea is to do life activities that produce no waste and the other way around is the wise choice of materials that will serve their purpose for a longer time. For example, is, choosing a metal bottle water container rather than a single use plastic bottle. That is why DENR and DepEd promotes the “Tumbler Challenge” where learners, teachers, and all personnel are expected to bring their own reusable water container to practice Zero Waste Living and the avoidance of patronizing the single –use plastic bottle for a water container. Even though it is recyclable the better practice for environmental resilience is reducing it.

The school serves as the training ground of the young Filipino learners. Although, home contributes to learning, schools greatly influence the way of living of the learners. School alters poor habits and malpractices. The school is the best site to train individuals who are responsible and fostering pro-environmental actions as leading to a resilient and sustainable nation. After all, the Department of Education envisions building Filipinos who has values that will greatly contribute to build its nation.