Share |

Creative waste management: rice for plastic garbage swap

CALABANGA, Camarines Sur (Jan 22, 2012) —The local government of this town has launched a create solid waste management program called “Plastic-to-Rice-Swap” that gives residents 1 kilo of rice for every half kilo of plastic garbage they collect.

Calabanga Mayor Evelyn Yu led the launching Friday (Jan. 20) of the said program program at the town’s People’s Center-Octagon, attended by the Municipal Ecological Solid Waste Management Board, members of three Non-government organizations and the Department of Education (Dep-Ed) Public School District supervisor.

In the same occasion 300 local residents swapped for rice undetermined volume of plastic garbage they had collected.

Mayor Yu said, the program is probably the only one of its kind in the Bicol region.

Accepted for swap are plastic bags, food wrappers, plastic sachets, candy wrappers. Hard plastics, containers and bottles are excluded from the program.

The collected tons of plastics are ground or pulverized in a machine and used as 10% mix in hollow blocks and bricks that are made in this locality, Yu said.

Yu also said although the program shall later cover all 48 Barangays of the town, the program shall see its pilot implementation in the areas near the town center where 10 to 12 tons of garbage are collected daily.

In support of the program, the Department of Health (DOH) has released Php1 million that shall finance the construction of a special storage and processing of hospital and biological waste, the Mayor added.

The Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 orders the local government units to close all open dumpsites and replace them with Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that costs millions. Most of the towns in Bicol are having difficulty complying with the order for financial reason. Calabanga's “Plastic-to-Rice-Swap” program is designed to augment its limited MRF facility, said Municipal Administrator Eddie Severo.

Since 2009, Calabanga town has been a consistent awardee of in the area of environmental protection and Risk Reduction Disaster Programs among 3rd-class municipalities that are prone to natural calamities. (SONNY SALES)