Integrated solid waste management programme for local government units

Programme description

Title: Integrated solid waste management programme for local government units
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Philippines
Lead executing agency: Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Partner: Environmental Management Bureaus (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and selected Local Governments within the Visayas Region
Overall term: 2005 to 2012

San Carlos City_Eco Center with SLF, MRF & composting


According to the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 all Philippine local government units (cities and municipalities) have to establish ecologically sound solid waste management (SWM) programmes within their jurisdiction. This law addresses problems of environmental degradation, recycling, pollution from waste dumps, and the loss of resources due to the steadily increasing amount of untreated waste. However, the practical application of the law at the national, regional and local levels has been inadequate, with less than three per cent compliance countrywide. In most cases, municipal authorities lack the legal, financial, organisational, institutional and technical capacities they need to implement the law.


Selected local governments are establishing integrated waste management systems proficiently and cost-effectively.


The main activity of GIZ (formerly GTZ and DED) is to provide technical expertise. It deploys international and national advisors, carries out studies, and supports capacity development measures for its partners' personnel. The project is also providing funds and equipment, though on a smaller scale. Through all these inputs, it is helping to build up the technical and institutional competence of its partner agencies in the central government and 12 selected local authorities in the Visayas region, for waste management. In the region, the project is also supporting pilot projects in which lessons are being learned for subsequent replication in the rest of the country.
Results achieved so far

By the end of 2010, seven of the 12 municipal administrations had established integrated solid waste management systems, which included collection, segregation, recycling, environmentally friendly storage, composting and closure of dumpsites. Three newly constructed waste management centres have been recognised as the most sophisticated sites in the Visayas.

So far, 45 participants from partner organisations and selected communities have enhanced their technical expertise in solid waste management, having passed a 17-module course developed by the project. These training modules will now also be used in a new graduate programme for SWM at the Central Philippine University in Iloilo City.

Iloilo City has started various pilot projects to reduce waste disposal and has become the first municipality to segregate plastic waste. This is now re-used by the cement industry instead of being discarded. 150 local waste pickers have formed an association, which – besides providing a regular income from the collection of recyclables – offers various benefits, such as increased work safety and occupational health measures.

In September 2009, leading technical experts for SWM in six of the partner municipalities participated in a three-week course for professionals in Germany, at the Waste Management Centre Pohlsche Heide in Hille, near Minden. Using that new expertise, the cities of San Carlos and Bayawan on Negros Island have since established efficient waste management centres with integrated landfills. These have made it possible to increase the rate of waste recovery much more quickly than the law requires. Ormoc and Maasin, on Leyte Island, are now also constructing similar centres.

Integration of Informal sector in SWM_Safer working condition for waste recovery at Iloilo MRF

Various components of the pilot projects, such as clay liners for landfills, central material sorting and composting facilities, and waste water treatment methods, have been replicated by other municipalities in the Visayas. The lessons learned were incorporated by the respective regional environmental management bureaus for the development of technical guidelines. The National Solid Waste Management Commission plans to release these as legally binding, national guidelines, which will also be included in the new National Solid Waste Management Strategy that is currently being drafted with the assistance of the project.

Additional information