by: Jimeina Einzel P. Papera
With waste pollution becoming a bigger a problem worldwide, individual and collective efforts have been directed toward innovative ways of minimizing wastes. These efforts even extend even to local government units and small communities.
Barangay Baybayin, the second smallest and one of the coastal barangays of the municipality of Los Baños, does not fall short in this regard. With waste management as one of the main problems in the barangay, the leadership and the residents are driven to reduce, reuse, and recycle the wastes generated by households in their barangay.
Last year, the local government unit of Baybayin repurposed old cans of cooking oil into dust pans, with a bamboo stick as handle. These dust pans were showcased in Baybayin’s booth in last year’s Bañamos Festival.
After some participants of the festival showed interest in the product, the recycled dust pans were sold for 75 pesos each.
According to Barangay Chair Conrado Lanuzo, the dust pans gained so much attention that they actually had to stop selling so that they will still have something to display in their booth.
Following the Bañamos Festival, the chair of Brgy. Tadlac purchased several dust pans from Baybayin for use in a clean-up drive. The dust pans were distributed among the different puroks of Tadlac, after which the cleanest purok were recognized.
This year, Tadlac once again placed its order for another batch.
After the dust pans gained popularity among residents from all over Los Baños, Lanuzo thought of another way to reduce the wastes in his barangay by turning used 1.5-liter soft drink bottles into brooms. The resulting product, he realized, complements the dust pans, which had since been improved using paint or varnish.
These recycled brooms and dust pans will be showcased in this year’s Bañamos Festival, which runs 17–23 September.
With the improvements introduced to the dust pans, each piece will now sell for P100. Meanwhile, the price of the brooms is yet to be determined.
Aside from creating brooms and dust pans, the barangay has also thought of other ways to recycle wastes. They are also in the process of making pillows and stuffed toys with shredded bags of chips as stuffing.
Currently, the barangay is still looking into more ways of minimizing and managing their wastes in order to contribute to the cleanliness of Los Baños and the Laguna Lake.