DAVAO CITY – A Filipino company based here has promoted the conversion of biodegradable waste to natural fertilizer by giving incentives to interested Dabawenyos.

The Davao Thermo Biotech Corporation (DTBC) launched its project called the Yellow Drum Project (YDP) in the last quarter of 2020. This aims to adopt biodegradable waste management by diverting biodegradable wastes to the DTBC’s composting plant located in Toril, instead of sending them to the city’s landfill.  

With the city’s increasing population, it is expected that the amount of garbage and wastes would pile up. Based on the 2018 records of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), the city generated an average of 1,012 tons of waste a day. However, the daily collection would only cover 292 tons. 

The long quarantine months allowed DTBC to see the need for proper biodegradable waste management in households, particularly for kitchen and other compostable solid waste, including branches, dried leaves, and pet waste. The company was then motivated to encourage people to start composting in their respective.

The project took its name from the yellow drums the company distributes to households which families can use in collecting their biodegradable waste.  Once filled, the DTBC will collect, transport, and compost the waste for P500.00 per drum. 

The project also provides the participants with a 10kg bag of Dr. Bo’s Compost Starter that will serve as a deodorizer to prevent the biodegradable waste’s foul smell. Under it, households will be given incentives in the forms of biofertilizer, enriched potting mix, or compost starter after their third filled yellow drum or every time each household completes a cycle of three yellow drums. In the meantime, the DTBC uses hyperthermophilic aerobic bacterial composting to convert biodegradables into soil and plant fertilizer. 

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 11 Industry Development Division Chief Arriel N. Nengasca shared that this is a worthwhile project not only for the environment but also for the garbage collectors or the basureros

“Personally, the project has encouraged me to start advocacy in proper waste segregation. With the help of the project, composting has been made easier,” he said. 

Nengasca further emphasized that the DTBC initiative has likewise promoted and encouraged urban gardening among homeowners, which could be a means towards food security and sustainability. 

DTI-Region 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said that this type of project is timely, especially that a lot of people have been staying home most of the time these days. Thus, they could look into the possibility of taking an active role in waste management. 

The DTBC is one of the assisted micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under the Regional Inclusive Innovation Center (RIIC) Davao project which DTI-Region 11 spearheads. The RIIC is being implemented in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST). ♦

Date of Release: 15 February 2021