Olongapo City Solid Waste Management Program
Health and sanitation problems in cities are often compounded when garbage is left unattended. The first integrated garbage collection scheme in the Philippines was launched by the Olongapo City government in September 1989 after a massive information drive to encourage cleanliness and explain the program. Unique aspects of this simple initiative include the use of plastic bags for garbage collection and the levying of garbage fees depending on the amount of garbage and the nature of the building (house, business, etc.) City officials say that public acceptance was crucial to the success of the program. That acceptance was achieved through an energetic communication campaign that included school poster contests, barangay cleanliness drives, and even the composition of a special 'jingle" played on the eight garbage trucks' public address systems as they roll down the streets.
After extensive product testing, the city government found recyclable plastic bags of standard size to be the best container. Residents put out their plastic bags twice weekly and pay P10.00-20.00 a month for the service. Businesses have garbage collected daily by the uniformed garbage collectors and pay P30.00-300.00. Annually, P6M are collected. Since the program costs P4M per year, the city generates revenues of P2M annually through the garbage collection.
As a result of the city government's effort, garbage piles have been eliminated in Olongapo and the burning and tossing of garbage in rivers have been severely lessened. Even jeepneys have the special plastic bags for use by passengers. Over 50 local government units from 9 of the country’s 14 regions have come to Olongapo to inspect this garbage collection system and other innovations of the city government. Several of these LGUs have already begun replicating the program in their jurisdictions.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 1994 Galing Pook Awards.