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Addressing the Challenges of Garbage Disposal in DepEd Elementary and Secondary Schools: Promoting proper waste management for a cleaner future

By Elma O. Valdepeñas, Teacher – II

Juan F.Triviño Memorial High School

Proper garbage disposal is a critical issue that needs to be addressed in DepEd schools across the Philippines. While waste management is a concern for society as a whole, schools play a vital role in educating and shaping the future generations. Unfortunately, many schools in the Philippines struggle with inadequate waste management practices, which have significant consequences for the environment and the community including sanitation and health concerns of everyone within the area.

One of the primary problems in proper garbage disposal in schools is the lack of awareness and education. Many students and even teachers may not fully understand the importance of proper waste segregation, recycling, and responsible disposal. Without this knowledge, they are unlikely to adopt the necessary practices to minimize waste and promote a cleaner environment.

Furthermore, the infrastructure and facilities for waste management in schools are often insufficient. Many schools lack proper waste bins, recycling facilities, and composting systems. This lack of infrastructure makes it difficult for students and staff to segregate and dispose waste correctly.

Another challenge is the irregular collection and disposal of garbage in communities. In some cases, schools may not have regular garbage collection services, leading to the accumulation of waste on school premises. This not only poses health hazards but also creates an unpleasant learning environment for students and teachers and the whole school community.

Addressing these issues requires a multi-faceted approach. First and foremost, there should be a comprehensive waste management program in every school that includes educating students and staff about the importance of proper garbage disposal. This program should cover topics such as waste segregation, recycling, composting, and the harmful effects of improper waste disposal.

DepEd and all public and even private schools should also invest in appropriate infrastructure, such as waste bins, recycling stations, and composting facilities, to facilitate proper waste management. Moreover, regular and reliable garbage collection services should be established to ensure that waste is promptly and responsibly disposed of.

Collaboration between Deped schools, local government units, and relevant environmental agencies is crucial. Local government units should provide support and resources to schools to improve waste management practices. Environmental agencies can conduct workshops, training sessions, and awareness campaigns to promote proper garbage disposal in schools.

Finally, it is essential to involve students actively in the process. Yes-O, SSG, GSP, BSP and all other recognized and institutionalized school clubs should be stablished to encourage students to take ownership of waste management initiatives. By involving students in decision-making and providing them with opportunities to participate in waste management activities, schools can instill a sense of responsibility and environmental stewardship from an early age.

In conclusion, the problems surrounding proper garbage disposal in DepEd Philippine schools are significant. However, by promoting and advocating environmental awareness, improving infrastructure, ensuring regular garbage collection, and fostering student involvement, we can overcome these challenges. Proper waste management in schools not only benefits the environment but also helps instill environmentally conscious habits in future generations and will create a positive impact to the universe.

Managing garbage in DepEd public schools can be challenging, but here are some simple strategies that can be implemented to effectively address this issue and concerns and create a more efficient learning environment that is garbage free and child friendly:

1. While most schools implement a proper waste segregation program, schools can start with educating students and staff on the importance of segregating waste into different categories such as biodegradable, non-biodegradable, recyclable, and hazardous waste by including it in the curriculum or classroom lessons and panel discussions or even in action researches of teachers. This lessons should be instilled starting from grade school, JHS and SHS to let them know that this is a serious concern and issue that needs to be resolved. Each school must set clear guidelines for waste disposal and which should be enforced through a school policy or a student governing council like the SSG and which should be included in the handbook.

2. Encourage recycling initiatives: Schools can set up recycling bins for paper, plastic, and other recyclable materials. Students and staff can be encouraged to recycle these items instead of throwing them away. Schools can also partner with local recycling facilities to ensure that these materials are properly recycled or made into a source of livelihood or income generating projects for Yes-O, SSG, BSP or GSP, like selling handicrafts made of plastics or cans and which tutorials are available in Youtube or even in TikTok or it can be made otherwise as part of Performance Task in some special subjects.

3. Organize clean-up drives and campaigns: Schools can organize regular clean-up drives within their premises and surrounding areas to collect and properly dispose of waste. This can help instill a sense of environmental responsibility among students and staff. The school clubs are considered the lifeblood of an institution, so each club can help out in promoting the advocacies of Deped and the local government through joint clean up drives. This innovations or interventions should be reflected in the school improvement plan so it becomes part of the regular annual program and activities, attached with proper program matrix to serve as a guide to each club and other learning areas.

4. Promote composting: Schools can set up compost bins to turn organic waste such as food scraps and dried leaves into organic fertilizers which can boost the growth of Gulayan initiatives of Deped.

5. Seek support from stakeholders: with the several agencies of the government, Schools can always solicit support from PNP, BFP, LGU, Barangay Council, Health Centers, SPTA, Coastguards and DRRM Through joint and collaborative efforts and commitment nothing would be impossible. The parents are also part of the teaching – learning process, the schools can also ask volunteer work from parents who are willing to provide service through job orders or pure voluntary work.


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