Pinoy school children will have more incentives to keep recyclable waste instead of throwing them away as the government rolled out a nationwide trash-to-cash program.
The initiative dubbed the "National Eco-savers Program" has been launched Thursday in Metro Manila, where students may now exchange recyclable materials for school supplies and even cash.
"By establishing some form of incentive for managing their solid waste, we are encouraging students to sort their waste and minimize the generation of garbage in their homes," Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said in a statement.
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He added that students will be given a passbook where credit points earned by surrendering recyclabe material will be recorded.
These credits may be used to claim useful items such as school supplies or possibly cash.
Schools will meanwhile pool recyclable materials for collection by accredited junk shops or recyclers.
The program also urges schools to turn biodegradable waste into compost, which may then be used as fertilizer for seedlings in the government's "National Greening Program."
The Environment, Education and Local Government departments, as well as the Metro Manila Development Authority earlier in June signed an agreement for the project.
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The initial implementation will involve 763 public elementary and high schools Metro Manila, thereby engaging some 1.9 million students.
Preparation of technical, monitoring and funding support will be handled by the Environment department.
The Education department will meanwhile spearhead the training of school officials and teachers for effective implementation.
Collection of processed materials will then be led by the Local Government department and the MMDA.
The government has earmarked P50 million for the project's initial phase in Metro Manila, Paje said.
He added that the program will also pool resources from partner agencies, local governments and the private sector to ensure sustainability.