Now that the national election has come to its conclusion, the next step for the government is to clean up the election materials that have accumulated – produced by the many campaign rallies observed in different parts of the Philippines. 

One of the steps that the administration has taken, through the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), is the repurposing of election campaign materials into useable ecobricks and ecobags, which it will undertake with the help of zero waste advocacy organization EcoWaste Coalition. 

In an interview with NET25, MMDA Chair Romando Artes said ‘Operation Baklas 2022′ – the name of the initiative – began on Tuesday (May 10) and is expected to conclude two weeks after. 

“Marami po tayong teams na ikinalat para sa pagbaklas po nito at katulong din naman po natin ang ibang sangay ng pamahalaan pati na po yung mga local government units,” Artes shared. 

In the first two days of the clean-up and collection drive, the MMDA  collected a combined 254 tons of election trash. Instead of going to landfills, these will be turned over to the recycling facility at Vitas Pumping Station where it will be incorporated into hollow blocks.

“Meron naman pong waste granulator kung saan itong mga tarpaulins po na ito at plastic ay gigilingin po natin para maging sangkap po sa ating ecobrick,” Artes said.

“’Yan po nagbabawas ng basura na imbis na itapon sa landfill ay pinapakinabangan po natin sa paggawa ng hollow blocks at bricks,” he explained further. 

According to Artes, some of the tarpaulins that they will collect will be given to the EcoWaste Coalition to be turned into useable bags. 

“Pinag-usapan po namin yung pagbibigay po sa kanila ng maaayos na tarpaulins para magawa po nilang ecobags,” Artes explained. 

The chief said the waste produced by the election needs to be addressed fast as it could pose problems for the country’s drainage system, especially with the coming rainy season. He also urged candidates and their supporters to participate in the clean-up drives. 

“Kung hindi po ito maaalis pagdating po ng tag-ulan, kalimitan ito ay napupunta sa ating mga kanal, sa estero, na nagdudulot po ng baha.”

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Image credit: Rico Borja via PNA