Christmas Plea: Recycle, It’s Not Waste Until It’s Wasted

A waste and pollution watchdog reminded Filipinos to temper their trash as the shopping frenzy peaks in the lead up to Christmas.

The EcoWaste Coalition pushed for the purposeful reduction of holiday trash (holitrash), saying that every kilo of garbage that is disposed of has to go somewhere.

According to government data, Metro Manila generates up to 8,600 tons of waste daily or about 25% of the national waste production of some 35,000 tons per day, 30 to 50 percent of which get collected and disposed of in 643 open dumpsites, 384 controlled dumpsites and 38 landfills.

“We generate more trash during the yuletide season given the blast of activities that eat up huge amounts of resources and yield volumes of discards,” observed Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“People shop, dine and socialize a lot during the extended holidays producing extra tons of holitrash, which, if not reused or recycled, will turn into garbage and get buried or burned somewhere,” he said.

“It’s not waste until it’s wasted, so we advise our kababayan to exert every effort to segregate your discards and creatively reuse or recycle them,” he added.

“Of course, you will have less discards to worry about if you tone down your consumption and disposal habits during the holidays,” he further said.

Recycling, the EcoWaste Coalition said, diverts waste away from disposal facilities such as landfills and incinerators by finding new uses for used, broken or old materials.

The group’s call for greater recycling is shared by Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, Jr., head of the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

“Recycling is a practical gift that we all can give our Mother Earth during this joyful season of love and hope. I therefore encourage all families to shed consumerism and the ensuing throw-away culture and to waste less by recycling more. A family that recycles together builds a healthy home together,” said Bishop Iñiguez,

To trim down the holitrash, the EcoWaste Coalition exhorted the public to shop in moderation with the welfare of Mother Earth in mind, avoiding plastic bags, disposables and products that are excessively wrapped.

The group also urged the public to diligently sort their discards, turn the organics into compost to enrich depleted soils and to reuse or recycle non-biodegradables such as can, glass, metal, paper and plastic.

Christmas boxes, wrappers, ribbons, cards and decorations should not be thrown away, but stored for future uses, the group pointed out.

The group specifically asked the public to reduce food waste and to ensure that excess foods are shared with friends and neighbors, including the homeless, in the true spirit of Christmas.

Recycling is good for all Filipino households and communities, the EcoWaste Coalition emphasized, citing commonsense reasons why everybody should recycle during the holidays and beyond:

– Recycling reduces the volume of garbage to be disposed of.

– Recycling avoids disposal costs that can be used to meet basic needs.

– Recycling conserves the Earth’s limited resources.

– Recycling prevents land clearing, tree cutting and mining activites.

– Recycling saves a lot of energy.

– Recycling creates job and income.

– Recycling builds eco-conscious families and communities.


Reference for waste disposal data: