The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Wednesday appealed to the public to practice responsible waste disposal, especially of items which may be hazardous to the health of garbage collectors.
In a virtual press conference, Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said households, especially those who have occupants practicing home quarantine, must be mindful of how they get rid of masks and other protective gears.
"We're trying to encourage the households to segregate well. Mayroon tayong tinatawag na recyclable, biodegradable, at residual. Ngayon mayroon pa tayong tinatawag na suspected hazardous waste," Antiporda said.
"'Yang suspected hazardous waste na 'yan, ihiwalay lang po natin ng container and i-inform natin sa garbage collector bago tayo magtatapon. Kailangan may prior information na makarating sa ating garbage collector para hindi mapahamak," he added.
Antiporda said the DENR has formally communicated with the Department of the Interior and Local Government to relay these instructions to local government units.
"Dito po papasok ang tulong ng ating local government units to notify their private contractors na ganito 'yung situation so we will be needing their support," he added.
Last April, a garbage collector in Cavite tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, medical wastes from hospitals and other treatment facilities are carefully being transported to specific sanitary landfills with special cells to ensure that there would not be any leakage in the surrounding areas.
"We're also coordinating with the private sector doon sa possible na thermal treatment or thermal destruction nitong mga contaminated wastes na ito," Antiporda said. -NB, GMA News