EcoWaste Coalition Goes to Cavite for Brigada Eskwela

In a bid to walk its talk, the EcoWaste Coalition today dispatched a team to Carmona, Cavite to promote a toxics-free Brigada Eskwela at a local school.

The group drove from Quezon City to Mabuhay Elementary School in Carmona to participate in the community effort to prepare the school for the reopening of classes on June 4.

“We are happy to lend a helping hand in the ecological cleanup and repair ofthe school,” said Christina Vergara, Zero Waste Project Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

The group specifically helped in installing simple waste segregation bins called “sack hangers” to encourage members of the school to segregate their discards at source.

“The sack hangers are more than receptacles of things we discard. They are effective educational tools that teach students the values of recycling and caring for Mother Earth,” Vergara added.

The group also facilitated a session on ecological waste management, which highlighted common-sense and low-tech procedures for preventing and reducing the waste volume and toxicity through what is called as “ecological solid waste management.”

During their visit to the said school, the EcoWaste Coalition had the chance of using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer to screen the school amenities for lead, a chemical that is toxic to the brain and the nervous system

The group had earlier recommended the following to minimize waste and pollution from the government-initiated Brigada Eskwela.

1. Segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable discards for reusing, recycling and composting.

2. No open burning or dumping of garbage, which are both prohibited under R.A. 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

3. Use of non-lead paint in the repainting of classrooms and other school amenities.

4. Observance of proper repainting procedures that will minimize the spread of paint dust in the surroundings that could potentially contain lead.

5. Use of non-hazardous cleaning agents. Specifically, non-use of muriatic acid and dichlorobenzene toilet blocks to clean and sanitize toilets.

6. Adherence to safe storage and disposal procedures for busted mercury-containing fluorescent lamps and other “special waste.”

7. No smoking inside the school premises, which is banned under DepEd Order 73-2010, R.A.9211, the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 and other related policies.

8. Use of reusable or recyclable containers for volunteers’ beverages and foods.