DENR to pilot Japanese waste management system in CL

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IN A BID to solve the worsening garbage menace, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here will partner with Japanese experts in pilot-testing a waste management system using microorganisms and earthworms to decompose organic waste in Pampanga and Bulacan.

The DENR will support the “Morita System” developed by Japanese plant pathologist and entrepreneur Tsuyoshi Morita and former Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) agroforestry consultant Hiroto Aihara to help solve the garbage problem in the region, revealed Maximo Dichoso of the regional DENR here. 

The “Morita System” is a low-cost organic waste management system using a combination of anaerobic digestion by liquid microorganisms called “compost activator” (CA) and vermi-culture, explained Dichoso.

With a daily generation rate of 5,000 tons of waste, Central Luzon’s local government units (LGU) have to find innovative and cheap ways of dealing with the garbage issue that can be done at the household level.

“Our waste is piling up every day in our dumpsites and landfills. Some end up in vacant lots, rivers and streams, and ultimately into Manila Bay,” he explained adding that the DENR will support all initiatives to help address garbage in the region.

DENR records showed that only 338 out of the country’s 1,610 towns have a solid waste management plan in place, and that only 70% of the country’s municipal solid waste is treated.

After a decade with Sweet Crystal Integrated Sugar Mill, and after witnessing the devastation of Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991, Morita thought of finding ways to rehabilitate lahar-affected sugarcane plantations in Pampanga by composting organic waste collected from surrounding communities in Porac town.

He experimented on the “Morita System” in a five-hectare sugarcane farm which he rented from a local farmer in the village of Planas.

After 13 years of hit-and-miss experiments beginning in 2001, Morita finally found the right combination of liquid compost activator and vermi-culture to speed up the decomposition of organic waste and to make lahar-affected land productive again.

He said the system starts with segregation of organic waste, like leftover food, rotten fruits and vegetables, fish discards, and other kitchen and agricultural wastes.

This organic waste is shredded, placed in a three feet deep by 20 feet long concrete pit lined with discarded tarpaulin to prevent leakage, then treated with liquid compost activator.

The waste is turned everyday for a week, the liquid byproduct is then sifted using a mesh and applied to farmland and crops like a liquid fertilizer and soil conditioner.

Floating scum made of fiber and undigested solid matter is scooped out and fed to earthworms in separate vermi-composting bins.

Aihara said the resulting liquid from the composting process promotes root growth, germination, and flowering in plants and vegetables.

Experimental plots in Morita’s five-hectare rented farmland in Porac also showed the liquid can also be used as fungicide, insecticide, and seed disinfectant.

Morita has been commissioned by Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr. to pilot test the “Morita System” in barangay Tuctucan in Guiguinto, Bulacan.