Garbage-Free Family Meeting Lauded
By Mae Limcumpao
(NOTE: The zero waste project at
the 4th World Meeting of Families held in Manila from 22-26 January
2003 was a resounding success - achieveing 90% waste diversion
rate at the site of the Meeting's closing events, which attracted some 300,000
people. Some 1,573 kilos of recyclable materials, worth 8,000 pesos,
were retrieved and sold to recyclers and about 600 kilos of food waste were
collected for composting.)
Manila, 30 June 2003.
Environment Secretary Elisea G. Gozun yesterday lauded a joint Church-NGO
collaboration in making the recently-concluded 4th World Meeting of Families
Gozun said the usual headaches
associated with garbage during religious celebrations and other gatherings at
the vicinity of Rizal Park and the Philippine International Convention Center
were surprisingly contained during the five-day World Meeting of
She said the 4th World Meeting of
Families is a model for event organizers on how waste management should be
done during public gatherings.
Archbishop Cardial Sin issued a
pastoral letter to participants of the family congress to make the event a "zero
waste celebration of life" through waste reduction and segregation.
"By doing so, we affirm the role of
the Family and the Church as stewards of His creation and proclaim our oneness
in choosing life so that our heirs and we will live. By ensuring that
nothing is wasted, we make it know that the Christian Family is an active
participant in healing and restoring the beauty of our ravaged land," Sin said
in his pastoral letter.
The "zero waste" advocacy was
initiated by the Ecological Waste Coalition composed of Caritas Manila, Global
Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm,
Mother Earth Unlimited, National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and
Peace, Recycling Movement of the Philippines Foundations, Smokey Mountain
Resource Recovery Systems and other NGOs.
Among the measures put into action by
the joint Church-NGO initiative was to ask participants to reduce waste
generation by using as few resources as possible; avoid using plastic and
disposable items; separate and dispose wastes at designated recycling stations;
and put wastes into proper containers to facilitate recycling.
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