STUDENTS in one Quezon City elementary school are enjoying new chairs thanks to the city’s aggressive regulation of plastic bags and program to recycle waste plastic, the office of Mayor Herbert M. Bautista reported.
“Waste disposal is everybody’s concern and it is a very serious concern. It is not just a catchy slogan,” the mayor said after Monday’s flag-raising ceremony at Quezon City Hall where he accepted 1,500 chairs manufactured from plastic materials that were recovered from trash bins.
The chairs will go to Pasong Tamo Elementary School.
Mayor Bautista, together with Frederika Rentoy, head of the Quezon City Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD), and School Division superintentend Dr. Elizabeth Quesada accepted the school chairs donated by Robinsons Supermarket.
The project was bankrolled by the city’s Green Fund, which was created under the Quezon City Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance (SP-2140) that regulates the use of plastic bags and establishes an environmental fee for their use.
Under the city ordinance, retail establishments like supermarkets and sari-sari stores are allowed to charge two pesos if a customer requires a plastic bag for his/her purchases. The amount collected will go to the Green Fund, which will then be used to fund environmental projects.
“The Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance aims to push consumers to bring their own bags and containers so that establishments will no longer give out plastic bags. The implementation of the ordinance has quite made a dent,” Mayor Bautista said.
A Commission on Audit report released in July took notice of the drop in Quezon City government’s garbage hauling expenses after it was able to reduce the volume of trash.
The COA report said the Quezon City paid P768,305,831 for “environment/sanitary services” in 2015 which is P246 million or 24.2 percent less than the P1.014 billion spent the previous year.
Quezon City was the biggest spender in garbage hauling in Metro Manila in 2014.
In his second term, Mayor Bautista implemented efforts to reduce the volume of garbage produced by homes and establishments by aggressively pushing waste segregation.
The Commission on Audit in its report praised the city government’s waste reduction initiatives, prompting other local government units in the country to look up to Quezon City as a model in local governance and management.