“This aims to encourage the residents of each barangay to segregate their household waste, and barter the recyclable materials to essentials goods that they can consume and benefit from,” said Mayoleen L. Belen, project pioneer and owner of the Dragon Eight Junkshop.
Recyclable wastes which can be traded that include plastic bottles, plastic cups and utensils, cellophanes, cartons, and even crumpled or shredded paper can be in exchange for goods like cooking oil, powdered milk, kilos of rice, and other goods and essential needs.
“Puwede rin silang mag-request ng cash na lang kung gusto nila,” Belen added.
Further, Belen expressed her gratitude to the local government for being the first municipality in the province to accept the project.
“We wanted our business to be for a greater good. It is not business only for "business" sake’, but rather, it has an advocacy which is to help protect the environment,” she said.
For his part, Mayor Arturo Valdriz recognized that solid wastes seem to be their perennial problem.
“Sa mga nakalipas na taon, ang problema ng ating munisipyo ay basura. Kaya pinapasok natin itong proyekto na ito na makatutulong sa ating solid waste management,” Valdriz said.
Based on the Waste Assessment Characterization Study, an individual tends to make some 0.45 kilograms of waste each day.
Out of the accumulated waste in the municipality, some 60.78 percent falls as biodegradable waste, 21.58 are residual, and 17.49 are considered recyclable.
“Ang main target ay bumaba yung recyclable waste natin. With the assistance of our partners such as our waste segregator teams and the Double Eight Junkshop, matutulungan po natin ang ating mga kababayan na ma-manage ang ating mga recyclable waste,” Riza Joy Abat of the municipal environment and natural resources office said.
The ‘Palit-Basura Project’ was launched on Thursday at the Farmer’s Hall of the municipal building and it was participated in by key officials of San Juan and other community stakeholders. (JCR/JPD/CGC, PIA La Union)
By Caren Grace R. Cabanayan