Philippines faces health and environmental risks amid lack of landfills
Some of the serious environmental risks caused by waste overflow landfills are ground and surface water contamination, flooding, greenhouse gas production, air pollution, exposure to toxins and spread of disease. Many disposal sites across the country contain infectious material, threatening sanitation workers and waste pickers and, eventually the general public. Tests of liquid runoff or leachate from Rodriguez and Payatas dump sites were found to contain high levels of contaminants. Most of the leachate seeps untreated into groundwater sources of drinking water and flows to the Marikina and Pasig River systems and Manila Bay. Landfills and dump sites, despite government’s efforts to situate them in areas far from population centers, still pose a threat to the health and the environment. A lot of wastes, about one-third of solid waste generated in the cities, are often dumped indiscriminately and often end up clogging the drains, causing flooding and increase in the populations of rodents and other pests. The urban poor suffer most from life-threatening conditions resulting from uncollected garbage.