Trash has been a world problem for years. Throughout many countries, it has paved the way for different calamities and controversies regarding the management of mankind. In the Philippines, it’s no different. Especially after the Undas festival.
A yearly cost to the environment
After the annual Undas celebration, trash piles up regardless of the occasion. As is traditional, Undas (the Day of the Dead in the Philippines) is more of a festive day in the cemetery as relatives flock from different provinces just to visit their dead loved one’s graves.
Lamenting for the trash, not just for the dead
According to a recent interview, Daniel Alejandre of the EcoWaste Coalition said, “Our cemeteries again teemed with garbage. We lament the brazen disregard of Republic Act 9003, which explicitly bans and penalizes littering – the most common and visible environmental offense committed during the observance of Undas and other popular festivities.”
He later added, “Littering is totally disrespectful for the dead and for Mother Nature too, and goes against the very purpose of going to the cemetery to pay respects to lost loved ones. There is no reason for visitors to leave their trash behind and expect others to clean up after them.”
A practical approach to trash management
Numerous ways have been proposed to deal with the trash. Volunteers from different neighborhood and management from different Cemeteries have made efforts to minimize the garbage. From an interview with a local an the Eternal Peace Memorial Park in Mabalacat City, Pamapnga, one of the most common efforts to help in the management of collected garbage from these cemeteries is to sell the junk in junk shops.
“We use the junk in many ways, sometimes recycle them in our own homes,” he said. “We would collect the used candle waxes, pile them up, and cook them again since it really doesn’t go to waste,” he added.
As much as the garbage does pile up, as the saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”
Jhon Joseph Ocampo
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