10 May 2010

Now that the people have cast their ballots, let the eco-cleanup begin

While the whole nation eagerly awaits the final election results, a waste and pollution watchdog prodded all politicos and their followers to now shift their energy to the clean up mode.

“Now that the people have cast their ballots, we urge all candidates and their supporters to work fast in tidying up our streets and neighborhoods of campaign materials. The sooner these campaign remnants are removed the better it is for community health, safety and environment,” said Manny Calonzo of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“Reusable and recyclable materials should be retrieved now before the elements ruin the valuable stuff," he added.

“Also, the quick removal of all campaign propaganda will hopefully hasten the mending of political discord that escalated during the heated campaign, so we can move on as one people to actualize the change that we seek for the common good,” he said.

The EcoWaste Coalition specifically asked those who run for the presidency, namely former President Erap Estrada, Senators Noynoy Aquino, Dick Gordon, Jamby Madrigal and Manny Villar, former Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro, Councilor JC de los Reyes, evangelist Eddie Villanueva and environmentalist Nicky Perlas, to lead the national post-campaign clean up and recycling efforts.

“By showing leadership in the cleanup and recycling drive, the incoming President as well as the other candidates will be sending strong signal to the entire nation that now is the time for ecological
recovery and action,” Calonzo said.

The EcoWaste Coalition cited the initiative of the Davao City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) to mobilize all the barangay captains in the planned city-wide removal of campaign
materials on May 11.

The Davao CENRO last Wednesday gathered the barangay officials to enjoin them to participate in the cleanup drive, which can also provide the barangays with some revenues from the sale of recyclable campaign materials.

“If only the National Solid Waste Management Commission and all the other local government units, particularly at the barangay-level, can do the same, we are certain that the volume of campaign trash will not only decrease, but will also get recycled instead of being burned or buried,” said Calonzo.

The EcoWaste Coalition, together with the Miss Earth Foundation, recently launched a 3Rs (repurpose, reuse, recycle) drive in order to keep used campaign materials out of dumpsites and landfills.

While 3Rs will not completely solve the waste and toxic pollution associated with the electoral campaign, both groups believe that repurposing, reusing and recycling campaign discards will yield a number of benefits.

3Rs, the groups say, will contribute to:

- reduced garbage and cleaner and healthier communities
- reduced expenses for waste collection and disposal
- reduced demand for virgin materials
- reduced emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants
- reduced deforestation with the recycling of paper

3Rs will further lead to:

- expanded opportunity for resource conservation

- expanded consciousness among citizens to take environmental action
- expanded individual and group creativity and resourcefulness
- expanded family and community cooperation and self-reliance
- expanded job creation, especially if carried out on a bigger scale

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium
Matalino St.Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

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