MANILA, March 30 — A difficult, albeit rewarding, job, was to pick up trash thoughtlessly strewn on the road during the Alay-Lakad penitential walk to Antipolo City on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
But on Black Saturday, the heaps of trash were literally picked up by concerned collectors from the national capital region.
An informal waste sector retrieved corrugated boxes, newspapers and bottles discarded by some devotees who thronged the Antipolo Cathedral in large numbers last Thursday and Friday.
Collected recyclables were sold to junk shops for P5 per kilo for the corrugated boxes and newspapers, and P20-25 for plastic beverage and water bottles.
These would later be resold the recyclables for use as raw materials by factories here or abroad.
This undertaking was immediately commended by eco-group EcoWaste Coalition for not only reducing the volume of trash but making good use of them by selling them.
EcoWaste Informal Waste Sector Project Coordinator, Rey Palacio, said waste collectors in the sea of devotees were seen collecting recyclables left by the pilgrims at the shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
By recycling, they averted the environmental and climate damage associated with garbage disposal, as well as with the production, transportation and consumption of virgin materials, Palacio said.
Although it was dismal how widespread littering is still present during the Alay-Lakad, the EcoWaste Coalition hopes the call for environmental protection will strike a chord with the faithful in word and deed.
Candy and snack wrappers, palm leaf wrapper, food leftovers, plastic bags, bottles, cigarette filters, and the corrugated boxes, newspapers and other improvised sleeping materials were among the most littered items at the "Alay-Lakad.
It was not clear how many tons collected were left by devotees on their way to the hilltop shrine. (PNA)