Calamba City, Laguna - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON Regional Office through its Manila Bay Site Coordinating/Management Office (MBSCMO) has established an eco-garden within the vicinity in Barangay Mayapa, Calamba, Laguna.
The “DENR Nature Garden” was established to promote waste segregation and reduction by diverting biodegradable waste as compost and identifying partner recyclers who can repurpose materials that would otherwise go to the sanitary landfill.
The garden has repurposed old tires, barrels, and other materials painted with bright colors. Old plastic bottles were used as plant containers which were used to make the vertical garden.
The plants introduced in the newly established garden include vegetables such as Pechay, Tomato, Okra, Mustasa, and Eggplant. Herbs planted include Banaba, Blue sage, and Rosemary. Ornamentals also provide colors such as Madagascar Periwinkle, Spotted houseplant, Aster, Liriope, Dumb canes, Pink Thai Aglaonema, Yucca, Daisy, Heart of Jesus, Talinum, Persian shield, Drummond’s skullcap, Coleus Lava Rose, Begonia, Rhoeo, Prayer Plant, and Dracaena. Once vegetable crops are grown, the regional office staff may freely harvest them for food.
On July 21, 2020, DENR Calabarzon MBSCMO Deputy Site Manager, Cynthia Rozaldo already harvested some Pechay from the garden.
Aside from planting various floral species and recycling, the regional department also began practicing composting using a barrel garden and two-layered compost tumbler. All biodegradable wastes generated by the employees and walk-in clients will be housed in the compost bins.
Rozaldo said “the practice of gardening, recycling, and composting hopes to reduce the number of wastes generated by the office”. She said, based on the 2019 annual report of the Environmental Management Bureau Calabarzon, 46.35% of all solid wastes generated in the region, including food wastes and rotten leaves, twigs, etc., are biodegradable while only 25.48% are residual and the rest are recyclable and special wastes.
Last June, Rozaldo re-oriented the office’s utility workers regarding waste segregation. The DENR Calabarzon General Services Section also devised a form to be used in monitoring waste segregation in the office.
In August 2019, the DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Sta. Cruz, Laguna established an ecological center at the rooftop of its office, the very first eco-garden of all DENR Calabarzon offices. The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Rizal followed in the footsteps of the said office in December 2019. In March 2020, CENRO Calauag, Quezon started establishing its eco-garden, which was incorporated in the “Gulayan Project Challenge” of PENRO Quezon. In addition, PENRO Quezon continues with its eco-garden competition under the Tayo Ang Kalikasan project since 2018. ###