Waste Management Practices of Canberra and Bermuda

One of the problems that bother any Local Government Unit or LGU in most of the Third World Countries is the lack of funds to finance their Solid Waste Management Programs and Projects.  This may include, the construction of a sanitary landfill, a waste treatment facility or any other means of waste management.  If this happened, most of these LGUs will, therefore, find it difficult to solve the increasing problem of environment-friendly waste disposal.

There are several funding agencies of foreign governments that can help finance the construction of Landfill and Incinerator. LGU officials, however, do not want to tie their LGUs up to the financiers because of high-interest rates, and the uncertain tenure of office of the local officials.

In the Philippines, LGU officials serve a term of three (3) years with two re-elections.

When both, the Landfill and the Incinerator would be very difficult to construct because of lack of funds and the cities are not willing to avail of loans from these international loan agencies like World Bank, and the uncertainty of getting re-elected, then these LGUs, specifically their Local Chief Executives as well as the Council Members would resort to the use of Controlled Dump Site or Open Dump Sites. Most probably, the latter will be the last resort for LGUs.

Basically, open dumpsites are unsanitary. No matter how Local Government Units insist that strict measures are done to protect the health of the community and its people living near these dumpsites, the truth remains that this practice is still unsanitary.

A few LGUs resorted to privatizing their Garbage Collection and Disposal. Some cities and towns succeeded in this approach while a few of them failed as the approach was loaded with corruption.  The mechanism is sometimes unknown to the Taxpayers and the voting public.  Thus, the public sometimes wonders why the garbage in their community is not collected regularly.  In a few cases, the Garbage Collectors demand money from Households so that they can regularly visit that community to collect their garbage.  A situation that frustrates the people and affects the cleanliness and sanitation of their community.

Let us have a glimpse of the Solid Waste Management Program of several cities nationwide.

Photo by Travelfoodguru

Photo by James Betia of Journeying James

Source: cdn.c.photoshelter


There are three (3) methods of waste management that are acceptable in many countries around the world. According to Jeni Braxton of Ezine Articles.com, these are Landfill, Incineration, and Recycling.


Amongst the many waste management methods, using a landfill is probably the most practiced in more areas of the world than any other method. Landfills are often old and abandoned quarries and mining areas. Considered the most cost-effective way of waste disposal, about 75% of the cost of implementation is attributable to the collection and transportation of waste from residential and businesses to the landfills. The waste is layered in thin spreads and then compacted, with a layer of clean earth covering the waste material before more layers are added over time.


Incineration as a disposal method involves burning the trash. Sometimes this is simply referred to as thermal treatment, as a general category of high-temperature treatment of trash material. This method can be used to transform waste into heat, gas, steam, and ash. One of the advantages of incineration is that with this method, refuse volume can be reduced by half or more and it requires little usage of land. An incineration facility can be built in a small area to process huge amounts of waste. It definitely saves a lot of space compared with using a landfill only. This method is popular in countries like Japan where space is limited.


Recycling of waste material means taking the materials and transforming them into new products. This is a key concept in modern waste minimization philosophy. It’s about lessening the strain on the environment through minimizing the need to fully dispose of (eg. by incineration and causing air pollution) the waste generated and reducing the need to introduce new raw materials into the environment and then having to dispose of them later. In your everyday living, you may already be separating out paper products, aluminum soda cans or glass bottles into different waste containers so that these could be recycled. When bringing your own shopping bag to the supermarket instead of using a new plastic bag, that’s another way of recycling. (Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4065087)


In the Philippines, I visited the City of Tagaytay, about two hours from Manila (I guess this included the traffic). Tagaytay is part of Cavite of the CALABARZON Provinces which are: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.

Tagaytay City, Source: bigattintourism.com

Rotonda, Tagaytay City
Source: http://www.panoramio.com

Tagaytay Highlands, Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/80/TagaytayCity.jpg/1280px-TagaytayCity.jpg

Cable Cars, Tagaytay Highlands. Source: http://indangbeauty.files.wordpress.com (Thank you indangbeauty.wordpress.com)

TAGAYTAY CITY was then considered as a model in Solid Waste Management in the country. I personally toured their facility which included, the waste segregation site, the waste treatment site, the composting site, and the material recovery facility as well as their Mushroom Growing Project. Many cities followed the best practices of Tagaytay.
A few cities, however, ventured into constructing their own Landfill sites with loans acquired through the assistance of the national government. Other cities implemented the Tagaytay Model, while the others continued the Open Dump Sites and the Controlled Dump Sites.

Source: http://tuklasinnatin.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/quezon-city-solid-waste-disposal-facility-payatas-controlled-dumpsite/

Payatas Controlled Dump Site
Quality Disposal Facility for Quality Community
Managed and Operated by:
Office of the City Mayor
Payatas Operations Group
Quezon City, Philippines

Area – 9.70 Ha.
Waste Intake – 7,000 cum./day
Average Wt. – 1,402 TPD
Per Capita Generation – .550kg./P/D
Waste Density – 210 Kg./Cum.
Average Daily Truck Trips – 500 trips/day
Payatas Controlled Dump Facility

The conversion of the Payatas Dumpsite into a Controlled Dump Facility includes Engineering Works Program (EWP), Social Responsibility Program (SRP), and Operation and Management of the disposal facility with the following objectives:

* Compliance with R.A. 9003
* To extend the life of the disposal facility for another 2 1/2 years at the least
* To ensure the safety of the people living near the dumpsite and eliminate the risk of another trash slide
* To provide livelihood opportunities to Payatas residents.

General Plan

1.Conversion to Control Dump Facility
Slope Stability – Re profiling to attain the side slope of 1:2.5

Leachate Collection & Treatment
Storm Waste Drain (Drainage System)
Top Soil Covering
Methane Gas to Power Generation
Material Recovery and Waste Volume Reduction Plant

2. Dump Site Operation
3. Social Engineering
4. Final Option

The Conversion Project is being implemented by IPM Environmental Services, Inc. (IPM-ESI) as the General Contractor and Sinclair Knight Merts as Consultant. The project covers the active and the inactive dumpsite having a combined land area of about 20 hectares.

Engineering Works Program

Slope Re-profiling – The 60-70 degrees side slopes of the dumpsite is re-profiled to 23-25 degrees or a slope ratio of about 1:2.5 and then covered with soil to ensure slope stability. Side cutting or berms are also constructed every 10 meters (slope-length) to minimize erosion and slope failure.

Leachate Collection and Re-circulation – The construction of peripheral leachate and then re-circulated or pumped onto the soil capped mounds to affect the growth of grass. Leachate re-circulation also helps to enhance decomposition and minimizes the discharge of leachate into the waterways.

Storm Water Drain – Construction of drainage canals along the periphery of the dumpsites serves as a drainage system in the area also acts as a catch basin for surface water runoff from the dumpsites.

Access Roads – The construction of all-weather access roads around the dumpsites facilitate: daily waste dumping, de-clogging operations, maintenance of slopes, and for an emergency.

Social Responsibility Program

The SR program includes:
1. Institute strengthening of existing workers’ organization;
2. Assistance in terms of access to basic services;
3. Establishment of Materials Recovery and Waste Volume Reduction Plant (MRWVRP);
4. Market Development
5. Vocational Training; and
6. Enhancement of Emergency Response Term.

Payatas Gas to Power Generation

Methane gas is a natural by-product of decay and decomposition at dumpsites. Unless managed well, it poses real health and safety hazards to people living and working in the immediate vicinity of the dumpsites.

“Spontaneous combustion and fires are the common results of improper management of methane gas”.

The PCDF has gone one step further than merely managing methane gas: it has brought in the technical assistance of the Philippine National Oil Corporation (PNOC) for the possible utilization of methane gas at the dumpsites as a secondary power source for the facility as well as the community through the construction of a landfill/dumpsite gas (LFG/DG) collection system.

The Philippine Biosciences Company (PhilBLO), a private contractor engaged in biogas technology, supplied the 100-kilowatt generator set and installed the methane gas collection system at the facility, mainly using moisture traps as gas buffers. The IPM-ESI have installed streetlights from the dumpsite to the POG office. It is estimated that the current level of methane gas at the dumpsite could supply the power need of the facility over the next 10 years.

Tire Retrieval Project

Another component of the conversion project is the continuing search for an economically advantageous and environmentally friendly method for the disposal of used tires.

Towards this end, the Quezon City government tapped the services of Union Cement Corporation (UCC) for the processing of retrieved and/or collected used tires using Cement Kiln Co-processing technology.
Source: http://tuklasinnatin.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/quezon-city-solid-waste-disposal-facility-payatas-controlled-dumpsite/

The following are the photos showing the selected portions of the Payatas Controlled Dump Site Facility.

Image result for images of Payatas Waste Management Site

Image result for images of Payatas Waste Management Site

Source: Getty Images…thank you.

Citation: Earthniversity would like to thank our sources of pictures


I had the opportunity to visit and saw the Solid Waste Management practices of Queanbeyan City in Australia when I attended a short course on Designing Sustainable Development under the Master in Urban Management program at the University of Canberra. I was sponsored by AusAID or the Australian Agency For International Development. Queanbeyan is located about 30 minutes away from Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory, and other neighboring New South Wales communities.

Queanbeyan and the neighboring communities had a complete facility for their waste management program. They have a huge building for waste segregation, another site for the recyclables like pressed soda cans, and bales of waste paper, among others. They have a huge composting site where compost materials from garbage, leaves, and trees are made into fertilizer and sold to local gardeners and others.

Queanbeyan City Council Building. I had my OJT with their City Planning & Development Office. Photo source: en.wikipedia.org

There was also a material recovery facility or MRF somewhere between Canberra and Queanbeyan which is located near the landfill site where reusable materials like refrigerator, chandelier, cabinet or chairs among others can be purchased by people who found them still useful. I also saw a power generator where leachate from the landfill was converted into electricity. It can be used to light lamp posts and other small-government offices like Day Care Center or Library.


As far as wastewater treatment was concerned, Canberra has a water treatment plant or facility located in what was called the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre. Canberra’s 90 million liters of wastewater daily are treated through several stages on several big ponds. On the last stage of the water treatment, a zero bacteria-clean water is produced. The guide even told us that the water is potable. This clean water was emptied into the Molonglo River. Clean water was therefore used by farmers from Canberra up to the southern reaches of the river, let us say, Adelaide. Inhabitants of the river like platypus are fed with clean water that sustains biodiversity in the river and the surrounding areas.

I visited this facility in 2000. That was a long time ago, but for sure, this facility serves its purpose until today. I posted a video of that facility here for your reference.

The City of Canberra. Source: wikimedia.org

The video hereunder shows the Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre. This is uploaded by ACTEW – Australian Capital Territory Electricity & Water Corporation.

Source: youtube, uploaded by ACTEW Water, Canberra, Australia, dated October 21, 2014.


Turning Trash Into Electricity is what this video is all about. Watch how garbage or trash is converted into electricity and appreciate how the City of Alexandria upholds the ideals of protecting and conserving the environment.

Source: youtube, uploaded by Planet Forward
bloomberg.com/sustainability – http://youtu.be/DYYtj5sBUyM


Now, let’s talk about Bermuda. Last September, I visited Bermuda and my interest in the use of incinerator in solid waste management was once again awakened because of my curiosity at the huge number of tourists and residents living in Bermuda and the garbage or waste that they generate.

Bermuda has a small land area left that using it for landfill may not be a good idea, much more sustainable with the growing tonnage of garbage generated every month. I also learned that Bermuda has no choice but to go for Incinerator.

The photo shows the neatly sealed black bags containing garbage from a local store at the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda. Photos below show the world-famous Horseshoe Bay Beach and its pink sand. During high season, millions of tourists visit Bermuda. On a regular basis, about 600,000 tourists visit the island each year.

The Royal Naval Dockyard viewed from Norwegian Cruise Line – Breakaway. The Dockyard is the cruise ships’ doorway to Bermuda.
(Photos by Henry Libo-on)

In 1987, the Government of Bermuda engaged the company the Von Roll Ltd., of Switzerland to study and design a waste treatment facility for the island which included the design and construction of the incinerator. Bermuda constructed the Tynes Bay Waste Treatment Facility at the cost of $70 Million.   It has been in operation beginning October 27, 1994.

For me, this on-going program of the Bermudian Government is one of the Best Practices as far as the use of the Incinerator is concerned.  Earthniversity is, therefore, sharing this story with our readers and followers worldwide. More specifically those who are government officials, urban and development planners, environmentalists and stakeholders in the Philippines and other parts of the world who can learn from the Bermudian Experience.

I have written hereunder the link regarding the Tynes Bay Waste Treatment Facility. Please click the link provided here for the complete facts and figures about the facility.

Tynes Bay Waste Treatment Facility, Bermuda
Source: http://rossgo.com

There is also a video of the Tynes Bay Waste Treatment Facility that I posted here. The video is produced by Wayne Hackman and he was happy to share this with you. You will learn from this video that – at Tynes Bay Waste Treatment Facility, NOTHING IS WASTED.

Source: youtube, uploaded by Wayne Hackman on February 14, 2014.
Thanks, Wayne Hackman for your approval to use this video.


1. I know that there are pros and cons as far as Incinerator is concerned but as an observer, I always respect the decision of the Local Government Unit (LGU) if they chose to use the Incinerator as a means of waste management. My confidence level is high as far as the LGU’s ability to maintain a high standard in the protection of the environment – the LAW which is: the Land, the Air, the Water and let us add – the Atmosphere.

For LGUs in the Third World Countries:

2. When LGUs cannot afford the cost of a Landfill or the operation of a Sanitary Controlled Dump Site, then it resorts to the use of Open Dump Site. In this case, the LGU must strengthen its campaign and implementation of the 4 Rs which are: Re-use, Reduce, Recycle and Rot or composting thus, minimizing the garbage that goes to the Garbage Dump Site.

3. The LGUs must encourage all villages to recycle from the source – meaning, from the household levels, offices, or business establishments levels. There must be separate bags or containers for recyclables like bottles, soda cans, plastic, and paper, among others. All households must be encouraged to have a compost pit for their kitchen waste. This compost pit can produce fertilizer to be used in the HH – household – gardens. Segregation at source must be strictly implemented in offices, both public and private institutions. Hospital waste must be separated and must be disposed of properly using a healthy and environment-friendly protocol.

4. Villages or Barangays must have their own MRF or Material Recovery Facility which will be the depository of reusable materials like refrigerators, cabinets, bottles, and others.

The LGU must also construct a Material Recovery Facility or MRF for the LGU where villages or “Barangay” without MRF can drop their reusable and recyclable materials. The MRF may have a display center for reusable but cheap materials that people could buy like cabinets, sofa, chairs, beds, tables, lampshades, and many others.

I saw this kind of MRF being practiced at Queanbeyan City in Australia. In the U.S. reusable materials like beds, tables, even television which HH does not need anymore, are placed on the side of the road to be picked up by the Waste Management trucks on a scheduled date. However, before the WM trucks could pick these things up, some residents who find these things still useful would pick them first, maybe do a little repair and use them.

5. There must be a waste segregation facility in the LGU. All waste that is not recyclables and is not for composting can be sent to the Controlled Dump Site.

6. Controlled Dump Site. The example is the Payatas Controlled Dump Site. (Previously presented).

7. The LGUs with support from significant stakeholders must conduct a continuous IEC – Information and Education Campaign on Solid Waste Management, i.e. 4 Rs, involving the broadcast, print, television, and social media.

8. The LGU must identify business organizations or companies dealing with Recycling of metals, bottles, construction waste, and many others and sign a memorandum of agreement to service the needs of the LGU. The LGU must assist these service providers in locating their recycling center and/or warehouse so they can ship these recyclables to the final recycling facility.

If I missed mentioning something that you might feel to be very important for your LGU or local situation, then feel free to add them.

I hope we, again, presented to you another informative post on how we can protect and conserve the environment through effective and efficient waste management.

If you know of any “Best Practice” which could be a helpful tip to protect and conserve our environment and the Earth, please share it with us. Thanks for following Earthniversity.


Earthniversity acknowledges its different sources of information, text, videos, and pictures. They were all properly cited on the pages where their materials were used.

Finally, you may also visit my blog site for more articles written about Bermuda with pictures. Here is the link: http://www.touristangpobre.blogspot.com

Updated on November 25, 2019.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s