Waste management has always been an issue in the Philippines, however, one community is trying to challenge that through zero-waste initiatives.

Apo Island – located in Dauin, Negros Oriental – is fighting the tide of trash through the implementation of innovative waste management practices, which was introduced by the War On Waste (WOW) Negros Oriental group in 2020.

Their strategy includes information campaigns on proper waste management targeting locals, the implementation of a door-to-door segregated waste collection system, composting, and the putting up of a decentralized Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

Members of the barangay are also being trained on waste assessment, waste composition, and designing waste management systems that will be appropriate for their area.

Photo from War on Waste – Negros Oriental

Photo from War on Waste – Negros Oriental

At present, Apo Island has employed seven waste workers, four MRFs, and established an ordinance regulating single-use plastics on the island.

Photo from War on Waste – Negros Oriental

For their effort in keeping the environment waste-free, the community has been recognized by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) as the first island barangay to exercise zero-waste initiatives and methods.

“We want to recognize Apo Island for their amazing work on their Zero Waste journey. We want to acknowledge their hard work and to encourage them to sustain it and do more,” said GAIA’s Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator Froilan Grate in an official statement.

“This is unique: Apo Island is the first Zero Waste Island Barangay in the Philippines,” Grate added.

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Image credit: War on Waste – Negros Oriental