MANILA – Hundreds of tons of election paraphernalia and other junk left behind during the recent national elections will be collected and recycled by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the EcoWaste Coalition.
In a televised interview on Net 25 on Thursday, MMDA Chair Romando Artes said ‘Operation Baklas (tear down) 2022’ began on Tuesday, with the cleanup expected to be completed in two weeks.
“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 [LGUs] (We have many teams deployed for the teardown and we are assisted by other branches of the government including LGUs),” Artes said.
So far, the MMDA has collected 28 truckloads equaling 98 tons of junk on Tuesday and 43 truckloads equaling 154 tons of junk on Wednesday -- totaling 254 tons of election trash during the first two days of the cleanup drive alone.
Despite the massive amounts of junk to be collected, he said these will not be dumped into sanitary landfills and instead will be recycled into hollow blocks and bricks through an existing brick-making facility at the Vitas Pumping Station.
“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 (We have a waste granulator where we will ground these tarpaulins and pieces of plastic to be used in making ecobricks),” Artes said.
He said these ecobricks are used in the rehabilitation of sidewalks and parks in Metro Manila.
The program, he said, was launched in 2021 and funded by the World Bank.
“’Yan po nagbabawas ng basura na imbis na itapon sa landfill ay pinapakinabangan po natin sa paggawa ng hollow blocks at bricks (It reduces waste. Instead of being thrown in a landfill, it can be used to make hollow blocks and bricks),” Artes said.
He also said the EcoWaste Coalition, in a meeting requested by the group on Wednesday, will be given tarpaulins collected by the MMDA to be made into ecobags.
“Pinag-usapan po namin yung pagbibigay po sa kanila ng maaayos na tarpaulins para magawa po nilang ecobags (We discussed providing them with tarpaulins that are in good condition which they can turn into ecobags),” Artes said.
To ensure the cleanliness in Metro Manila and the rest of the country, he called on election candidates and their supporters to help take down their election posters and other paraphernalia.
“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 (If these are not cleaned up by the rainy season, these usually end up in canals or estuaries, causing floods),” Artes said.
He noted that the MMDA is in close coordination with the Commission on Elections for the continued cleanup of election paraphernalia and other junk. (PNA)