January is Zero Waste Month as mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 760, dated 5 May 2014. This is also the 20th signing of the Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. Zero waste is an advocacy that promotes the designing and managing products and processes to avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources thru the Environmental Management Bureau aims to provide guidance on the proper management of all Covid-19 related health care waste in all health facilities, community quarantine units, and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.
Relative to the proper management of Covid-related wastes, the National Solid Waste Management Commission issued NSWMC Resolution 1364, Series of 2020 dated 25 April 2020 adopting the Interim Guidelines on the Management of Covid-19 related Health Care waste.
Said guidelines cover all local government units and may apply to waste service providers, commercial and industrial sources, households, offices, institutions, and other facilities deemed as safe shelters which temporarily house frontliners, public markets and the like. All Covid-19 related waste ( i.e. face masks, testing kits, cotton, tissue papers, etc.) are considered potentially infectious and contaminated health care waste shall be given priority to ensure the welfare and safety of the community and waste workers in the management of said wastes.
Infectious wastes shall be stored in yellow plastic bags/container bins or any storage bags/container bins and properly labeled. Waste generators are also encourage to follow safe handling of infectious and contaminated health care for collection as well as proper hygiene practices.