Part 3: Braverhearts and Green Warriors of Maluso, Slay!

A four-part series on Synergeia’s Solid Waste Management Project with the Coca-Cola Foundation-

The Maluso Experience: Of Bravehearts and Green Warriors

To walk the talk is never easy.

But first is to understand the real problem and why it is happening.

Maluso admits that many of their practices on waste disposal negate their vision of clean, green and environmentally sustainable communities.

Local officials and community workers who participated in the seminar on solid waste management conducted by Synergeia with the Coca-Cola Foundation observed that:

1. Maluso lacks garbage receptacles or dump sites.

2. Adults and children don’t have good habits on waste disposal.

3. There is no established system of waste disposal.

4. Households in coastal areas dump their garbage in the open sea.

5. Some households throw their garbage under the trees.

6. Food wastes  are  thrown anywhere  or used  to feed pets and animals; and

7. Recycling of plastic bottles is small-scale and unsustainable.

 In many ways, the behavior of people, which results in these observations and causes major waste management issues for Maluso, needs some drastic change or improvement.

Mayor  Hanie  Bud stressed the importance of social preparation as a critical starting point. It means that communities have to be empowered with the knowledge and capacity to have the proper mindset and behavior on solid waste disposal, reduction, reuse, and recycling. A massive information and awareness campaign targeted towards communities will be useful to produce this outcome.

He also cited how he already started a  “no single-use plastic”  policy in the municipal office where he encouraged the employees and workers to bring water  tumblers and refill drinking water using the dispensers installed in the municipal building.   

Indeed, walking the talk can only succeed when communities band together to slay their roles in their solid waste management goals and be the Braverhearts and Green Warriors that they truly are.

The barangays in Maluso will walk the talk by doing what it need to do.

It will start the experiment of reducing and recycling plastic waste through, among others, the conduct of a community information drive, the provision of sacks to every household to be used in collecting plastic waste, and the establishment of baseline data on the collected plastics as the basis for formulating better strategies and approaches.

Synergeia offered its support by providing materials on the “Effects  of  Climate Change” for the barangay information drive, helping experts in the design of a capacity building workshop, connecting Maluso with

Coke’s waste aggregators or recyclers for the processing of plastics and introducing the idea of available but expensive technology for converting/processing plastics into fuel.

To Maluso, its time has come.

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