“Please dispatch clean-up brigades to clear major as well as secondary roads of campaign remnants, including posters on the walls, trees, cables and lamp posts. Government workers will need all your support to finish off the massive clearing operations at the earliest time,” she said.
Without wasting time, members of the EcoWaste Coalition and their community partners got themselves dirty and sweaty to clear an area in Project 6, Quezon City of used election campaign materials.
“We have partnered with the local barangay council for this clean-up activity to motivate election winners and losers to take responsibility in removing their publicity posters at once,” stated Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Now that the campaign is over and the electorates have made their judgement, we urge all candidates and their backers to switch to the clean-up mode and bring their campaign materials down,” she said.
“We specifically request the winning President, governors and city and municipal mayors to hit the ground running and be the forerunners in tidying up the post-election mess,” she emphasized.
At the clean-up drive held outside the Project 6 Elementary School, the eco-volunteers, armed with cutters, scissors and pliers, removed paper and plastic posters hanging all over the place.
To reduce the volume of campaign discards for disposal, the clean-up participants carefully sorted them to retrieve items that can still be reused, repurposed or recycled.
“It might appear easier and quicker if we just mix and throw the removed materials altogether or, worst, set them on fire. But, that is not the ecological way to spruce up our sullied surroundings. Open dumping and open burning aggravate environmental pollution and are, in fact, forbidden under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act,” Lucero said.
“We create garbage by mixing up the used campaign materials. We avoid creating garbage by keeping them segregated into few categories: “paper” for the paper posters and sample ballots, “plastic” for the plastic banners and posters, “PVC” for plastic tarpaulins, and “garbage” for residual wastes,” she pointed out.
“Instead of dumping or burning them, we can sell the segregated discards to junk shops or find appropriate uses for them,” she said.
To show how some campaign materials can be creatively reused or repurposed, EcoWaste volunteers conducted a DIY (do it yourself) side event coinciding with the clean-up drive.
EcoWaste staff and volunteers turned paper posters into bookmarks, envelopes, folders, name tags, photo albums, scrap books and sketch pads, paper and plastic posters into book and notebook covers, cardboard fans into picture frames, and fliers and sample ballots into notepads.
The group also put on display various functional items that can be made from used tarpaulins, including aprons, organizers and assorted types of bags and purses.
In addition, tarpaulins can also be repurposed for non-food applications such as awnings for homes and stores and as a protective shield against rain or sun for jeepneys, tricycles and pedicabs.
Among the groups that participated in the post-election clean-up and recycling drive were the Barangay Project 6 Council, Office of Mrs. Beth Delarmente, Junior Chamber International-Quezon City (Diamante) and the EcoWaste Coalition Secretariat.