Palit-Basura: San Nicolas turns plastic wastes into food packs
SAN NICOLAS, Ilocos Norte, May 31 (PIA) – The municipal government of San Nicolas, through the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), has rolled out an environmental initiative in an effort to address the increasing plastic trash while the country is still under the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic crisis.
This environmental program is called “Palit-Basura” which encourages locals in the municipality to exchange their plastic wrappers to food packs.
This includes empty wrappers of powdered juice, milk, coffee, creamer, instant noodles, and other plastic wastes.
As a reward, those who join in this initiative will receive food packs containing canned goods, instant noodles, and coffee.
This program is open to the residents in San Nicolas.
In the municipal government’s official Facebook page, they explained that “only clean pastic wastes are allowed to be exchanged. These wastes must be classified as foil and non-foil to further recover recyclable waste materials. Then, these are to be submitted to the MENRO for issuance of a claim stub and release of a food pack.”
In compliance with the mandatory health standards, schedules of barangays for the program are clustered to strictly observe physical distancing.
Mayor Alfredo Valdez Jr. said, there’s a need to maintain solid waste management as residual wastes have become a major concern since community quarantine.
“Kasi itong pagdating ng COVID-19 pandemic, may mga ayudang binibigay sa mga tao — food packs and all these things. So I called the attention of our MENRO and said, mukhang masyadong dadami ang basura natin dito. Then for another thing, we’ve been managing our solid wastes properly and efficiently, sayang naman kung because of the COVID-19 pandemic eh titigil na tayo,” Valdez said.
Moreover, he cites this program as a great avenue to strengthen the municipality’s solid waste management program and educate the importance of proper waste segregation to residents by turning their junk to goodies.
“We encourage the people to collect their plastic food wrapper. Pagkatapos, iipunin nila syempre iyon para mapakinabangan. Not only will we be able to serve our people, but also they will learn to appreciate the value of their garbage,” the mayor added.
While face-to-face learning is not yet encouraged for the kids, Valdez further stated that the Palit-Basura program will also help the youth to practice proper waste collection and segregation at home.
“Ang sabi ko, magandang pagawa ‘to sa mga bata and the youth lalo na walang pasok sa eskwela. I think this is one form of eye-opener for them para ma-appreciate nila na, oo nga, may pakinabang pala sa basura,” the local chief executive encouraged.
On the other hand, Marilyn Tolentino, MENRO chief, explained that collected wastes will be converted into useful items while some are up for recycling.
“Yung makukuhang mga plastic na may foil ay mapupunta sa aming shredding facility habang ang iba ay mare-recycle. Ang mga shredded materials ay gagawing mga unan, bayong, bags, at iba pang useful items na maaaring ibenta at pagkakitaan,” Tolentino shared.
San Nicolas is known to be a heritage town and an environment champion for its notable awards in terms of solid waste management and environmental management. (JCR/AMB/MJTAB/PIA Ilocos Norte)