Davao builds coastal recycling facility




The Manila Times



DAVAO CITY: A P5 million material recycling facility (MRF) that will process plastic waste and bottles collected from coastal areas will be built in the city. The project is the initiative of the Davao City Bantay Dagat Association, in partnership with the UN-Habitat Healthy Oceans and Clean Cities. Raffy Bermejo, Bantay Dagat head, said all the processes necessary for the project have been accomplished and they are waiting for the release of P1.6 million for the first tranche. Sixty percent of the second tranche will be released in early October or late November, which will be used in the construction of the MRF. “We get plastics from the coastal areas and rivers, and the problem is some of it like pet bottles are no longer being bought, so the Healthy Oceans and Clean Cities initiatives partnered with the Bantay Dagat Association and gave us P5 million worth of assistance from the Government of Japan, the funder, to create a material recycling facility that we can use to reuse, reduce and recycle wastes that we get from our coastlines,” Bermejo said. Bermejo said that they intend to use the remaining 10 percent to fund their social enterprise activity, which is to use processed recycled shredded plastic as an ingredient for hollow blocks and grills. “The product that we aim to produce is hollow blocks and bricks. We will crush it and shred it [the plastics] and the bottles, we will also crush it and mix it with sand and use that to make grill blocks and bricks and sell them as construction materials,” Bermejo further said. Bermejo said the bottles he mentioned are those that are often hoarded to be sold to recycling facilities. They plan to incentivize households that will gather plastic and bottles. He said they will give incentives to households for those bottles that are not thrown and those that are left unattended and cannot be sold. Bermejo said that their idea of incentivizing involves the sari-sari (variety) stores in coastal areas. Sari-sari stores will be the collection areas for the waste. He said they will teach the sarisari stores where they will gather the waste and will make them part of the collection areas. The waste gathered by people will be brought to the store and these will be weighed and they will select the goods to buy. “Of course, it will be equivalent to the value of plastic bottles, for example, if it is worth P10.00, they can buy soy sauce or oil which will be released by the store. The Bantay Dagat Association will pay the store,” Bermejo said. He also underscored that incentivizing the collection of waste is the way to go, to really motivate people. Bermejo said that they collect about 8 tons of trash along coastal areas. Bantay Dagat volunteers usually collect mixed waste, about 10 percent of which is plastic, and the remaining percent are materials such as shoes, clothes, slippers and more, he said. The Bantay Dagat volunteers work four hours every Saturday and are given P1,000. These Bantay Dagat volunteers also put up their own association, the Bantay Dagat Association, which is already registered with the Department of Labor and Employment.