Waste mismanagement has serious environmental effects making the passage of the Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 a landmark environmental legislation in the Philippines. The law was crafted in response to the looming garbage problems in the country. RA 9003 declares the policy of the state in adopting a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program that ensures the protection of public health and the environment and the proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of solid waste through the formulation and adoption of best environmental practices. Moreover, it illustrates the potentials and benefits of recycling not only in addressing waste management problems but also in alleviating poverty. RA 9003 was passed by the Philippine Congress on December 20, 2000 and was subsequently approved by the Office of the President on January 26,2001. It contains seven (7) chapters sub-divided into 66 sections setting out policy direction for an effective solid waste management program in the country. Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 RA 9003 describes solid waste management as a discipline associated with the control of generation, storage, collection, transfer and transport, processing, and disposal of solid wastes. The manner by which these activities are conducted shall be in accord with the best principles of public health, economics, engineering, conservation, aesthetics, other environmental considerations, and public attitudes. The Act provides for a comprehensive ecological solid waste management program by creating the necessary institutional mechanisms and incentives, appropriating funds, declaring certain acts prohibited, and providing penalties. Institutional Mechanism The establishment of a National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) and Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB) in each local government unit (LGU) is mandated by RA 9003 to be represented by public officials, in their exÂ officio capacity, and the private sector. The Commission shall serve as the coordinating body and likewise develop and implement the National Solid Waste Management Framework. The SWMB, on the other hand, is directed to formulate a 10-year local Ecological Solid Waste Management Plans instituting an effective and sustainable solid waste management plan with primary emphasis on implementation of all feasible re-use, recycling and composting programs. This is pursuant to relevant provisions under RA 7160 or the Local Government Code. Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Waste Characterization and Segregation. The solid waste generated within the area of jurisdiction shall be characterized for initial source reduction and recycling element of the local waste management plan. A separate container is required for each type of waste for on-site collection properly marked as "compostable", "non-recyclable", "recyclable" or "special waste". Waste segregation shall primarily be conducted at the source including household, commercial, industrial and agricultural sources. Source Reduction This refers to the methods by which the LGUs can reduce a sufficient amount of solid waste disposed within five (5) years. LGUs are expected to divert at least 25% of all solid waste from waste disposal facilities through reÂ use, recycling and composting activities. The rate of waste diversion is set to increase every three (3) years.