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Vegetable Waste Disposal and Management in Cebu City Public Markets

Organic vegetables and fruits are considered important food sources. They are generally inexpensive and though naturally low in fat and calories, they are stillpacked with important nutrients. However, their tendency to spoil easily in their fresh and unpreserved stateresults in organic waste. Organic waste is a type of biodegradable solid waste that comes from plants or animals. Markets that sell organic produce usually generate a high volume of waste from spoiled fruits and vegetables. Like other forms of waste, organic waste must be properly disposed of in order to avoid adverse consequences to the general public’s health and to existing environmental conditions.

According to the Climate Change Commission’s recent report: “A Measure for Resilience: 2012 Report on the Ecological Footprint of the Philippines”, the waste that Filipinos have produced through consumption in the year 2008 was already twice the capacity of the Philippines.

This means that two Philippine archipelagos have since been needed to accommodate the waste that we generate. Aside from the degradation of our natural resources, this can be attributed to the growth in population since the amount of waste production in an area is directly proportional to its population density.

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Furthermore, in developing countries such as ours, organic wastes take up a dominant fraction of the municipal solid waste stream.In the Philippines, organic waste generation and management methods vary depending on the area or setting. While agricultural activities dominate in the rural setting, the driving force for the recovery of organic wastes is low for its urban counterpart.

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The importance and the related benefits of properly managing organic waste are still underestimated in many Philippine municipalities.That is why the Philippines is still looming with garbage management problemsdespite the passage of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.These problemsare brought to light during rainy seasons when their effects are seen in the form of increased flash floods and the proliferation of diseases throughout affected areas.In general, such harmful effects to the environment and to society can be decreased by proper waste management practices.Properly dealing with organic waste can reduce the potential for environmental pollution while also protecting the individual who is responsible for the discarded materials (Hawkins, 2010).Furthermore, applying proper waste management practices would result in the reduction of costs incurred in waste collection.

Publication Full Text

ssThe presence of the organic waste management problem in Cebu City is denoted by the popular existence of public markets. Carbon Market, the city’s oldest and biggest produce market, is one of the primary sources of such waste. Though the city’s garbage is collected through trucks, only an estimated 350 out of 500,000 tons of waste generated daily is collected and disposed at the Inayawan landfill(Archival, 2012). In order to partially address the city’s existing problem, the dumping of garbage must be reduced such that recycling must be done whenever possible.In connection with this, we recognize the fact that the high nutrient content and biodegradable nature of vegetable waste makes it easier to recycle.

Despite the global applicability of organic waste management problem, we deemed it best to scrutinize the situation from a local standpoint. Specifically, we focused our study on the management of spoiled vegetables in local public markets. We conducted this studyto determine the methods of managing vegetable waste in Cebu City’s public markets that are effective in minimizing the dumping of garbage that could otherwise be recycled. Applying efficient and effective vegetable waste management methods would produce a positive impact not only on the incomes of Cebu City public market vendors but also on the Cebuanosociety as a whole and the community in which it lives.

Statement of the Problem

The researchers conduct this study to describe the methods for disposal and management of vegetable wastes in the public markets of Cebu City. Specifically, the study attempted to answer the following questions: a. How much vegetable wastes are currently being disposed of in the public markets in Cebu City? b. What method for disposal and management of vegetable wastes are currently implemented by the authorities that are responsible for the public markets? c. How do public market vendors respond to these implemented disposal and management methods? What are their attitudes and behaviors towards these methods? d. What are effective alternative methods of disposing and managing vegetable wastes in the public markets of Cebu City?

Statement of Assumptions

It is assumed that the disposal of spoiled vegetables in the proper and most advantageous manner presents problems to public market vegetable vendors, and that these vegetable vendors have their own strategies in disposing of spoiled vegetables which differ from market to market. It is also assumed that the public market area is a factor that affects the method ofwaste management. In addition, an optimal method of spoiled vegetable waste management exists.

Significance of the Study

Waste management is crucial for the betterment of the society since without it, people might end up suffering from their own garbage. Studying how public markets in Cebu City manage and dispose of the vegetable wastes would greatly benefit many parties in the community including the market vegetable vendors, public market consumers, Local Government Units, the community and students. At the conclusion of our research, we will also recommend some solutions that would be of best advantage to these parties:

Market Vegetable Vendors

This study aims to help the public market vegetable vendors be more aware that the management and proper disposal of the vegetable wastes is important in keeping the market environment sanitary and to provide them with optimal solutions on their disposal problems.

Public Market Consumers

This study will educate the consumers about the sanitary problems that exist in the vegetable market area and to enlighten them of the risks that these problems might pose on the cleanliness of the vegetables they buy and consequently, on their health.

Local Government Units

Through this study, the responsible government units or authorities would also be notified on the problem of disposing of the vegetable wastes in the markets in Cebu City and would also assist them in making actions to solve the problem.


By reading this research, the community would know that the proper management and disposal of vegetable wastes helps in keeping it healthy and well; this may also inspire the society to cooperate in the application of the optimal solution to the sanitary problems of the vegetable market.


This study would enlighten us, students, of the growing need to be more responsible in the management and disposal not only of the vegetable wastes but wastes in general. By reading this research, students will be more aware that there are actual problems that require attention beyond the four walls of their classrooms.


Vegetable Wastes

These are vegetables that are rotten and decayed which are not anymore worthy of being sold in the public markets. Due to the delicate nature of such edible plant, these vegetables lose their freshness within a relatively short span of time because in public markets, the vegetables do not undergo preservation processes to keep them crisp and fresh-looking for a long period of time. Since these vegetables are wastes, they should then be discarded rather than sold for human consumption.


Disposal is the process of getting rid and throwing away of the discarded vegetable wastes. This is the actual way on how the market vendors get rid of their vegetable wastes out of the premises of the public market.


This refers to vegetable waste management wherein appropriate activities are done to deal with the vegetable wastes including its transfer, storage, and final disposal. Such waste management activities are the ideal ways of throwing away the vegetable wastes and would consequently be beneficial to affected parties.

Public Market

It is a gathering in a public place wherein the selling and buying of merchandise or farm products happen. In the context of this study, we refer to those public markets that at least part thereof sells vegetables.


Chapter 1 of this research presents the rationale of the study, introduces the problem statement and describes the specific problems addressed. It also presents the significance and the scope and limitations of the study. In addition, this chapter includes the definition of terms.

Chapter 2 presents the review of the related literature and relevant research associated with the problem addressed in this study. It also displays the conceptual framework. Chapter 3 describes the research methodology and the procedures used for data collection and analysis. It includes a description of the research environment, the respondents that are to be surveyed, the instruments used to gather data.

Chapter 4 contains an analysis of the data and presentation of the results. The interpretation of the data gathered is also presented in this chapter. Chapter 5 offers a summary and discussion of the researchers’ findings. In this chapter, the conclusions made by the researchers which are based on their findings are presented. The researchers also propose certain recommendations that will solve the problem identified in the study.


Review of Related Literature

Vegetables spoil faster once harvested. They have shorter life span compared to meats and fishes in the market. Typical indicators of spoiled veggies may be observed in its appearance, texture, smell or taste (Thrall). Some even starts to decay before a chance to sell them. Processes undergone before sending them to final market like harvesting, transporting, sorting and arranging results to vegetables that are rotten and some has unnoticed spots. If in good quality, better, but if not, it ends up in trash, gets wasted and discarded.

Vegetable waste is generally stale or spoilt vegetable that usually high in fibrous content, but not fit for human consumption (Mapuskar, 1992). In the market, these wastes usually are mixed with rags, other trimmings, dusts, and other materials. Almost 500kg of vegetable waste a day is produced in the Philippine market irrespective of their sizes. Thus, an enormous amount of such waste is being produced daily . Vegetable market wastes can be found plenty in urban areas and creates a problem of safe disposal.

Today, if nothing is done, according to Ana Cabatbat of DENR-EMB, these wastes will increase its volume. If 100% collected, these wastes will end up in the dumpsites or landfills that will require huge spaces and large budgets. In fact, an additional P102.9 million is needed to fund the Cebu City government’s garbage collection and disposal program for 2013 (PDI, 2012). Janeses Ponce, head of the city’s Solid Waste Management Board, stressed that this bigger budget would fund the disposal of the city’s garbage in privately owned facilities like the landfill in Consolacion. In real scenario, not everything is disposed in the dumps all the time. Especially during the garbage crisis where no dumps available, wastes end up littered in the streets, public places, open drainages and bodies of water.

These are evident by some unsightly piles and scattered wastes around the market that attract insects and rodents (Navarro,R.,2003). Also the clogged drains resulting to stagnant waters and flooding in some areas. The more wastes, the more littering, the greater the consequences it will bring and ripples it may create. Over the past thirty years, waste has remained the most visible, and silently dangerous, environmental problem in the country ( factor that could worsen the environmental crisis is the increasing accumulation of solid wastes which either have no counterpart in nature or which have not been properly disposed (Arias, 1998).

Improper solid waste management may lead to environmental, health, social and economic problems. Among the environmental concerns that are common worldwide are the air pollution (odor, smoke, noise, dust and etc.); the waste or water pollution (coming from the disposal site via flooding); and the land pollution. The most pressing concern, probably, is the health problems it will bring. People may get such skin, lungs, stomach, and nose/throat problems. The harmful insects and animals like flies, mosquitoes, and rats can also put health at risk.

These include dengue, Typhus, Salmonella, Leptospirosis, and other diseases ( The impact of waste mismanagement has a negative economic effect especially to those living near the waste disposal site. When the landfill exceeds its capacity, this may cause problems to the residents living near the site. This may affect their health and social functions, and thus will affect the operations of the local government units.

With this alarming issue, there is a need to exert effort to come up with strategies on how to minimize dumping these wastes. Everyday, the country has a per capita waste generation of 0.3 to 0.7 kilograms of garbage. In 2003*, we have generated 27,397 tons of garbage daily, a step backwards compared to the 19,700 tons of garbage we have generated daily in 2000 (*based on the study conducted by the NSWMC-Secretariat and the Metro Manila Solid Waste Management Project of the Asian Development Bank in 2003).It was found that a large amount of Philippine solid wastes composition are mostly biodegradable (Navarro,R.,2003). This may in fact includes vegetable waste in the market.

In addition, Chris Rogers (2008) wrote in an article that food scraps have one of the lowest rates of recycling at less than 3 percent. Therefore, there can be a significant dent in the amount of waste if we can find ways to recycle or properly managed vegetable wastes. There are four stages in the management of wastes. First, is the GENERATION when the materials become wastes and not needed anymore. Second, is the STORAGE which involves house storage or the command storage (by the collection agency). Then the COLLECTION, which involves transporting of wastes from the point of storage to the point of disposal. The final stage is the DISPOSAL, wherein the solid wastes are typically dumped on land (

In solid waste management, it is the identification and maintenance of final disposal sites that serves as the most challenging. In fact, the Metro Cebu Development Project had the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill in Cebu City to address this challenge, while other cities and municipalities use open dumpsites. Because a big amount of money is needed for the investment and maintenance of a sanitary landfill, the local government units in Metro Cebu have to seriously cooperate with each other for a much better use of economies of scale ( There are commonly used methods vegetable waste can be managed. By proper handling, negative effects can be reduced. Most of the procedures on handling vegetable wastes cannot be easily arranged in order of best management practice from an environmental standpoint due to individual situations and circumstances.

Each of the possible ways also have their pros and cons. Some of the management methods in dealing with discarded vegetable products and wastes are: (1) feed the vegetable waste to livestock; (2) returning the wastes to the field on which these were grown; (3) storing the collected fruit and vegetables on-site in a pile; (4) composting; (5) offering to the local food banks; (6) dispose in a landfill (Hawkins, 2010). These prove that addressing the problems regarding vegetables wastes is possible. If the land and equipment is available, composting discarded vegetables is one option that can reduce the volume vegetable waste in the market.

The discarded veggies would be mixed with other organic materials to produce compost suitable for reincorporation into fields or for selling. According to Hanson (2012), the use of vegetables wastes in composting has benefits. When you include the vegetable waste in your compost, it can help reduce garbage in dumpsites or landfills. Because of this it will reduce toxins, reduce pollution, and prevents erosions. It is also cheaper because there’s no need for expensive equipment, a bin will do. Lastly, you can have a rich fertilizer because the composted scraps become a nutrient-rich, organic fertilizer that can be used to improve your garden, landscaping and grass. It can also make your plants grow healthier, and can save you in spending for commercialized fertilizers.

The advantages of this method are low disposal cost, vegetable waste generally decompose in weeks, vegetable juice will be one source of needed water in the compost pile and the final product can be sold for profit. Moreover, the product can be returned to the growing field to provide nutrients and organic matter for the next crop. On the contrary, additional pest management may be needed, runoff control will have to be implemented, and getting rid of compost may be a problem (Jaberia, 2012). Stephen Walsh also projects that the composting market will quickly become swamped, resulting in too many bags of composted organic matter for too few flower beds.

He thinks that there will be little economic incentive for composting this type of waste once handling, processing and packaging costs are covered (Maynard). There is also a study that aim to convert vegetable solid waste (VW) amended with wheat straw (WS), cow dung (CD), and biogas slurry (BGS) into vermicompost using earthworm Eiseniafetida. The results indicated that vermicomposting can be an efficient technology to convert negligible vegetable-market solid wastes into nutrient-rich biofertilizer if mixed with bulking materials in appropriate ratios.

Most of vegetable wastes have also an excellent potential to be used as alternative feed resource for livestock and poultry. The Department of Primary Industries in Melbourne, Australia supported the feeding of vegetable waste from market to the pigs.

Vegetable waste from markets, commercially prepared pig rations, grain, bread that does not contain any meat material, milk, milk product or by-products can be used in feeding the pigs. Vegetable matter is also bulky, mostly water but with high levels of protein, vitamins and minerals. The drawbacks are that the waste has short shelf life and animals may not eat rotten vegetable waste (The Tribune 2010).Thus, farmers should consult with veterinarians to confirm the effects of feeding vegetable waste to livestock.

Returning vegetable waste to the field is also a better option. This method returns the waste back to the growing field where the nutrients can be recycled. Advantages of this method are that the nutrients in the vegetable waste can be available for the next crop and organic matter in vegetable waste increases the soil fertility while the disadvantages is that diseased vegetables can potentially infect harvested crops (Jaberia, 2012).

Sadaf Jaberia,Ph.D in Food Science and Technology from Pakistan, added that storing vegetable waste on site can be a temporary solution to final disposal or reuse of materials The holding area should be burned to hold rainfall and any liquids that have formed from the decomposition of the fruit and vegetables waste. Crushing the vegetables and placing them in a burned area helps control the runoff, makes managing the material easier, allows extra liquids to evaporate and reduces the volume that will need to be managed at a later time. Benefits of this method are low disposal cost, low transportation cost to disposal site because of reduced volume and distance. However, if the area used for storage is not properly managed, may result to a legal problem.

She also supplemented that disposal of vegetable waste in landfill area is a method that should be considered after all other options. But, from a sustainability standpoint, disposal of these wastes in landfill is probability not the best option based on increasing and large fees. Advantages are that once the fruit and vegetable wastes are dumped, all responsibility is transferred to the landfill operator and juice associated with vegetable decomposition could increase methane production in the landfill that would be beneficial for collecting methane for energy production. Disadvantages are its high cost of disposal and its juices has to be handled.

One such alternative substrate for biomethanation is vegetable market waste (Mandiwaste). If this waste could be digested in a biogas digester, both biogas and fertilizer could be produced (Mapuskar, 1992).There exists a significant potential for processing of such wastes as a new non-conventional energy source. A research study made in India (Kameswari et al.,2007) found that biomethanation of vegetable market waste is an economically viable option for bio-energy generation and from the point of view of reduction in greenhouse gas emission. But the constraints and issues to be considered are to be thoroughly examined before implementing the plants. However, based on their study, the researchers concluded that Biomethanation process is the best suitable process when compared to composting or dumping into landfills.

According to them, the European Commission has introduced a landfill directive in 1999, and also set the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) content in the waste to be dumped into landfill should be less than 5 % from the year 2004 onwards. Similar or more stringent regulation may arise in India also in future. Keeping in view the above facts, Biomethanation followed by aerobic composting is considered to be the feasible option for management of vegetable market waste. According to Jaberia, from 10% – 75% of the vegetables contributes to an estimated two lac tons of an underutilized energy resource in the world. It is important to know a fact, that waste of fruit and vegetable is a potential energy source, the methane.

Up to 50% of fruit and vegetable waste could be potentially converted to this fuel. She said that vegetable byproducts may hold more than 8 million cubic meters of methane that could produce 35 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 28 million kilowatt hours of heat. Researchers at Fraunhofer have developed a pilot plant that ferments the waste from wholesale fruit and vegetable markets, cafeterias and canteens to make methane, which can be used to power vehicles. Given the rising oil prices in recent years, many drivers have been converting their cars to run on natural gas (Quick 2012). But natural gas is also a fossil fuel with limited reserves whose price has also risen in recent years and is likely to continue to do so.

The above mentioned methods of disposing biodegradable waste are among those suggestive ways that can be implemented and done. However, it has its own benefits and consequences and therefore need to be weighed. The Republic Act 9003 also known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, stipulates the need to adopt a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management programs which shall ensure proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of solid waste through the formulation and adoption of the best environmental practices in ecological waste management excluding incineration.

The LGUs shall be primarily responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this Act within their respective jurisdictions (RA 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code). Segregation and collection of solid waste shall be conducted at the barangay level specifically for biodegradable, compostable and reusable wastes provided, that the collection of non-recyclable materials and special wastes shall be the responsibility of the municipality or city (Section 10 of RA 9003). Thus, selecting ways as to how to manage and dispose vegetable wastes in the market should consider cost- benefit, size of the market and wastes it generates, availability of space and the capacity of the Local Government Units (LGUs) to fund.

According to a research made by Ballados (2010), waste generators adopted poor solid waste management practices in terms of waste segregation, collection and transport, waste disposal and recycling due to lack of awareness on proper and effective ways of managing wastes. Her research findings showed that the waste generators do not practice waste segregation. Dumping of wastes in the streets, rivers and open drainage are often practiced. The respondents do not also practice recycling of wastes because of the lack of facilities and lack of support from the local government units. Thus, her study indicates that the local government units do not comply with the implementing rules and regulations of the RA 9003.

Lack of financial resources, lack of authority to make financial and administrative decisions, no proper institutional set-up for solid waste management, the difficulty of locating and/or acquiring landfill site, and the poor public cooperation were among the factors that influence the non-compliance of the local government units with the RA 9003.

The LGUs face a number of problems which hamper the adoption and/or compliance with the RA 9003 Act. In view of these, the following recommendations are hereby proposed by the researcher:Massive information dissemination campaign on solid waste management should be conducted to promote public awareness; LGUs should formulate a long-term and comprehensive solid waste management programs that would encourage and motivate the public to give their cooperation and full support; and LGUs should reach out and build partnership with non-government organizations, private sectors and civic organization for additional resources.

Beyond this, the burden of this alarming issue in the market cannot just be bear by the (LGUs) alone since the society has been a willing and active participant in this waste generation. Implementation of ordinances, collection system and communication campaign for proper waste management and disposal in the market must be a joint effort of the government, market vendors, buyers or consumers and other private sector. This country’s garbage problem has a lot to do with the values and lifestyles of the public..

Human behaviour and attitude is one of the key factors that may affect proper vegetable waste disposal and management in the market. Every individual must be responsible for the wastes he generates. Secretary Ramon Paje explained that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is optimistic that it can solve the problem. The challenge he said is to find ways to get all families in the act (

Conceptual Framework

This diagram shows the process of gathering data from Cebu City public markets to know the vegetable vendors’ methods in disposing and managing their vegetable wastes, and the implementations or actions done by the Local Government Units to address their concern on the disposal and management of vegetable wastes.

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the research proper

Figure 1 shows the conceptual framework of this study. The diagram starts with the Cebu City Public Markets. The researchers prepare an interview-guide-questionnaire to be used on the actual one-on-one interview with the vegetable vendors, and the selection of vegetable vendors interviewed in the public market is through random sampling. The interview-guide-questionnaires contain series of questions in relation to the statement of the problem of this study.

This is to help the researchers obtain information from the vegetable vendors, and for a smooth flow of interview. On the other hand, the researchers also conduct an interview with the respective Local Government Unit officials in which the particular public market is situated. The questions are mainly about what actions and implementations are taken by the LGUs to address the disposal and management of wastes in the public markets, and how successful is it. After the interviews, the data are gathered and analyzed. The researchers then proceed to finding feasible solutions to address the problem and recommend the optimal method or solution applicable.


As a way to systematically solve our research problem, we gathered the data through a one-on-one interview using guide questions with our respondents. The interviews are conducted in the different public markets in Cebu City where each of the respondents are situated. Our research methodology serves as an effective means for us to acquire the information we need in order to complete our research.

Research Environment

The research is conducted in the different public markets of Cebu City.These are Banawa Public Market, Duljo Public Market, Pardo Public Market, Taba Public Market, Taboan Public Market, and Tisa Public Market. These markets are usually buildings or open spaces housing a number of small independently operated stalls normally selling the same types of goods. The public buying and selling of merchandises are conducted within the vicinity and the typical products sold include vegetables,fruits, and locally raised meats and dairy products and various other food items.

Research Respondents

Participants included 50 vegetable vendorsindependently operating their individual stalls that are chosen through random sampling. Their ages range from_____. They are basically distributors of affordable fruits and vegetables and provide consumers with convenient and accessible retail options forming a vital part in the social and economic life of Cebu City. Many of these vendors work for long hours in the same sight on a daily basis.

These vendors and their families typically rely on profits from vending as their primary source of household income. Other vendors rotate among two or more sites, taking advantage of different types of clientele and different patterns of urban movement over the course of the day. Some vendors work on a more part-time basis or in weekly rotating markets. While most rely on vending as their regular primary or secondary occupation, some vend only when an opportunity presents itself to earn extra income.

Research Instruments

The principal means of gathering data is through conducting a one-on-one interview with the vendors and documenting their answers in a questionnaire sheet. They were asked as to what are their customary methods of managing the spoiled vegetables they are selling and such information gathered is then tabulated to for further analysis. Research Procedures

At an initial meeting, participants gave their informed consent to answer our questions regarding their vegetable spoilages. A formal interview is then conducted with each individual participant asking them to answer the questions we have already prepared prior to the interview. A questionnaire is prepared for each participant and their corresponding answers to our formulated questions are recorded and tabulated at the end of all the interview sessions. A formal analysis of all the data is then conducted to address the main thrust of our research which is to ascertain which among the vendors’ methods of spoilage disposal would be the most optimal option.

Cite this page

Vegetable Waste Disposal and Management in Cebu City Public Markets. (2017, Feb 16). Retrieved from

Vegetable Waste Disposal and Management in Cebu City Public Markets

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