IMPROPER solid waste management system has been a problem in several countries including the Philippines. It contributes to the worsening environmental degradation of the community.
According to the data of National Solid Waste Management Commission, the household sector is producing more than 50 percent of the entire waste category.
Although with the emergence of several environmental organizations and their advocacy for proper segregation/waste management, households have began practicing the sorting, collecting and identifying trash. However, what to do with these trash (logistics, transportation and proper handling) is another problem.
And that’s where Trashvocacy came in.
Trashvocacy is an online platform based in Cagayan de Oro City that advocates solid and rooted awareness of responsible waste segregation and disposal.
Established last July 2018 as a startup tech business, Trashvocacy believes that an individual’s poor upbringing towards waste management during formative years (4-18 years old) have contributed to the accumulation of the perceived problem – improper wastes segregation and its irresponsible disposal.
It further thinks that the apathy and personal neglect to responsibly segregate wastes at source had resulted to many environmental, health, and economic problems. Also, increasing urbanization and inadequacy of landfill spaces add to the challenge of collection and disposal efforts of the local government units and the city.
As such, Trashvocacy provides an avenue where households and establishments can conveniently dispose their recyclable trash goods and at the same time earn extra cash.
“So if you have already segregated your trash and then there are recyclable items that you would like to profit form, that’s where we come in,” Hope Cariño, the founder or Trashvocacy, said.
Tagging itself as the “Online Junk Buddy,” Trashvocacy offers options for households on what they can do to their recyclables.
“They contact us, we can advise them to sell it to their suki (patrons) nga junk peddler or give it to the local barangay or if madaghan na gyud sya, they can actually contact us for a scheduled booking,” Cariño said.
According to Cariño, commonly bought recyclable goods and junk items are: appliances/e-waste (damaged and not already in use), auto (damaged/non-functioning motorcycles, cars, trucks and its batteries), aluminum can, carton, glass bottled, metals, plastic bottles, among others.
“The household sector produces the least minimum na recyclable at the given particular time pero madami. In bits but it could be in volume. That’s a challenge because most junk peddlers have limited space and then most junk buyers also would love to buy it in a bulk,” Cariño said.
“That’s why what we are also advocating is to tap with your local barangay because the local barangay actually already have schedules for pick up,” he added. They have also initially partnered with the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Cooperative.
Clients of Trashvocacy, after calling for booking/quotation, will be given schedules to pick up their items for disposal, Cariño said. The wastes are sorted first for easier identification and clearing.
After pre-sorting the wastes, the disposal team will be weighing and record the collected wastes for organization and pricing. Then the items will be packed and carried for disposal.
Cariño said the buying price depends on the kind of recyclable goods and junk items and the weight.
Trashvocacy has served clients within the downtown area of Cagayan de Oro and as far as El Salvador City.
Cariño said to further improve their service, they are planning on creating an application or app wherein the households can just log in and immediately have talks with the junk buyers. At present, the Trashvocacy can be contacted through its mobile number: 0906 738 6002, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, and Facebook page: www.facebook.com/trashvocacy.
“Environmental problem, sustainable problem, its all of our concern, just not the government. I think its time really to do our part. We cannot leave everything sa government. We just really have to do our part and the government will meet us halfway. We should be willing to meet halfway in order for this to work,” Cariño said.