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‘Basurapamore’ awards go to 6 dirty Metro cemeteries

/ 01:11 AM November 03, 2015

THEIR yearly appeal for a garbage-free All Saints’ Day once again fell on deaf ears. Maybe next year, they’d have better luck if they addressed it to the dead themselves.

Despite repeated pleas against littering, several cemeteries were again dirtied by the crowds who visited their loved ones’ graves over the weekend.

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Members of the environmental watchdog, EcoWaste Coalition, visited 18 public and private cemeteries in and around Metro Manila on Sunday—and reported seeing “pervasive” littering once more on supposedly hallowed grounds.

 

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Threats of penalty ignored

EcoWaste campaigner Tin Vergara said appeals and threats of penalty against littering were largely ignored.

“Instead of just leaving flowers and prayers, many cemetery visitors left their trash behind with no sense of environmental responsibility,” she said.

“Some may think that doing this is tolerable as there are sweepers to clean after. We say this is not acceptable as littering desecrates the cemeteries and disrespects the dead as well as the living,” Vergara added.

The Dirty Six

EcoWaste named six of the most dirtied cemeteries it had observed.

These were Bagbag Public Cemetery in Quezon City; Manila Memorial Park in Dasmariñas, Cavite; Manila Memorial Park-Holy Cross in Novaliches, Quezon City; Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque; Manila North Cemetery; and Manila South Cemetery.

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“This year we give the ‘Basurapamore’ award to these cemeteries with bursting garbage bags and bins and littered gutters and streets,” said EcoWaste coordinator Aileen Lucero.

Relatively litter-free

The group nevertheless commended Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque for banning this year the posting of signages on trees, after it allowed rampant posting two years ago.

But EcoWaste also noted that appeals against littering did not go entirely unheeded, and named five cemeteries that were relatively litter-free.

These were the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Anne Cemetery in Taguig; Loyola Memorial Park in Parañaque; Paradise Private Cemetery in Mandaluyong; San Felipe Neri Catholic Cemetery in Mandaluyong; and San Juan City Cemetery.

“We give cemeteries with minimal or isolated incidents of littering the ‘May Pag-asa’ award,” Lucero said.

Favorite trash

The most common trash left in the cemeteries were plastic bags and wrappers, plastic cups, bottles and straws, snack packs, polystyrene food and drink containers, disposable paper and plastic plates, pizza boxes, newspapers and cigarette filters, EcoWaste reported.

Lucero said even the candle receptacles and flower vases left behind posed health risks since they might later serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes.

EcoWaste said its volunteers and those from the Ecology Ministry of the Parish of San Roque de Manila went back to Manila North Cemetery on Monday to help with the clean-up.

Street sweepers

The group commended the street sweepers and volunteers, such as those from the Tzu Chi Foundation, who gathered waste materials that could be recycled to minimize the garbage.

Last year, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority reported collecting 834 tons of mixed garbage from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1 from 21 cemeteries in Metro Manila.

Manila North Cemetery produced 17 tons of garbage, followed by Manila South Cemetery with 15 tons, San Juan City Public Cemetery with 12 tons and Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City with 11 tons.

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