Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Black Nazarene procession leaves tons of trash

Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition lamented the “trashing of Luneta” during the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Sunday.

Thousands of devotees attended a morning Mass held at Quirino Grandstand, preceding the annual procession of the Black Nazarene image from Rizal Park to Quiapo Church.

But in the wake of the procession, Quirino Grandstand and Rizal Park were left awash with food leftovers and wrappers, used food and beverage containers, plastic bottles and bags, soiled cartons and newspapers, empty cans and even used disposable diapers, EcoWaste Coalition said in a statement.

The group estimated that the scattered discards could easily fill up 200 to 250 garbage bags. Calls made by ecology groups, the Church and the local government since Monday, appealing for devotees to pick up their own trash, were apparently left unheeded.
“Let’s get real. Our prayerful devotion to the Black Nazarene should be complemented with the highest respect for God’s creation and not by dropping litter anywhere,” said EcoWaste Coalition president Roy Alvarez.

The National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) has started to clean up the park.

“We have prepared for it and we have deployed our sweepers, but we reiterate our call to all park-goers to have discipline, especially when disposing of garbage,” said NPDC media information bureau chief Kenneth Montegrande.

The EcoWaste Coalition expressed gratitude to scavengers in the park, who collected recyclable trash as the procession got started.

A scavenger could earn from P300 to P2,000 from the discarded recyclable items, said Manny Calonzo of the EcoWaste Coalition Basura Patrol.

Quoting the scavengers, he said polyethylene (PET) bottles would sell for P22-P32 a kilo; plastic cups, noodle containers and covers, P15 a kilo; plastic cutlery, P15 a kilo; tin cans, P6 a kilo; and carton boxes, P5 a kilo.


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