The first piece of legislation signed by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo requires local governments to reduce waste disposal by 25 percent across the county in five years, mostly through re-use, recycling, and composting. Macapagal, who came into office the same day as U.S. President Bush, said, “I am told no other country in the world has adopted this integrated ecological approach to solid waste management.” The country currently has big trash problems. Only 84 percent of Manila’s trash gets collected, with the rest ending up in vacant lots or rivers. In Quezon City, about 217 squatters were killed last year by a giant trash avalanche when a portion of a landfill collapsed.

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