Discipline, vendor ban reduce cemetery trash | Inquirer News

Discipline, vendor ban reduce cemetery trash

EcoWaste Coalition: 14 truckloads collected from Oct. 28-Nov. 3, down from 2018
By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 04:03 AM November 05, 2019

Discipline, vendor ban reduce cemetery trash

TOXIC PLASTIC Most of the trash collected were single-use paper and plastic packaging from food concessionaires. Photo courtesy of EcoWaste Coalition

MANILA, Philippines — The volume of trash collected from 27 Metro Manila cemeteries during the All Saints’ Day break went down this year, a trend that an environmental watchdog attributed to visitors who practiced discipline and a ban on vendors.

From Oct. 28 to Nov. 3, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s metro parkway clearing group hauled away from 27 cemeteries a total of 47.65 tons of garbage — equivalent to 14 truckloads — consisting mostly of single-use paper and plastic packaging from food concessionaires.


The volume was 10 tons lower compared to last year’s 57.95 tons of garbage.


Green advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition attributed the decrease to the “cooperation of disciplined visitors” and a ban on vendors inside cemeteries that was imposed by some local government units (LGUs).

“We laud caring Filipinos for leaving flowers and prayers — not trash — at the graves of their dearly departed relatives and friends,” EcoWaste’s Zero Waste campaigner Jove Benosa said in a statement.

“This should be the rule rather than the exception as millions gather every year in cemeteries to remember and pray for them,” he added.

Minimal to intense

There was “minimal” to “intense” littering at 17 cemeteries in Caloocan, Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Parañaque, Pasay, Quezon City and San Juan, based on field reports from the group’s “Basura Patrollers.”

Some cemeteries, on the other hand, were declared “litter-free” by the group. These were St. John Memorial Park in San Juan, Aglipay Cemetery in Marikina, Garden of Life Cemetery in Mandaluyong and Loyola Memorial Park in Parañaque.


The “most littered” burial place was Bagbag Public Cemetery in Quezon City, where, according to EcoWaste, “visitors [were] literally walking over or sitting next to garbage.”

With the Manila City government’s implementing a total ban on vendor and illegal settlers inside the Manila North and South cemeteries, the group observed a visible reduction in food packaging waste.

But the Manila Department of Public Services said that from Oct. 10 to Nov. 2, a total of 121 truckloads of garbage and other materials were collected from the two cemeteries.

Preventive measures

“The garbage situation in all cemeteries will further improve next year if preventive measures are effectively carried out,” EcoWaste said, as it called on LGUs and cemetery administrators to enforce their respective ecological solid waste management plans.

The group also urged visitors to bring home their trash as it declared cemeteries plastic-free zones.

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This would place at zero the amount of single-use plastics such as carry bags, eating utensils, drinking bottles and Styrofoam containers to be disposed of, it said. —With a report from Nikka G. Valenzuela

TAGS: Undas 2019

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