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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Mainstreaming recycling

THEY started small, as many great ideas do. But we can proudly say, the small steps being done by Envirotech Waste Recycling Inc. was already in the radar of Sun.Star Davao within the same year they started, when they were just convincing small local government units to give them access to their landfills so that Envirotech can haul off all their residual plastic wastes.

From the initial wastes of Hinatuan Eco Park and Tagum City, Envirotech is now the force in the nationwide campaign of Tang, yes, the juice drink, to convert all their packaging wastes to school desks.

The colorful TV ad you see about Tang soliciting all your juice packaging wastes to turn them into schooldesks, that’s Envirotech’s technology, and Envirotech is a Davao City company.

The company has found a technology to turn residual waste, the ones that no scavenger takes interest on, into valuable new products – school desks, paving blocks, park benches.

“We reuse your refuse,” Envirotech’s CEO and president Winchester O. Lemen said. “It’s like reusing all waste from individuals that are always discarded in the landfill and one of them is the foil packs from packaging foods.”

Lemen further explained that juice packs, the tetrapacks and retort packs we sip juice from are not easily recyclable because of the plastic lamination. But foil packs are among the most common waste.

“Since foil packs kasi are not recyclable, I found a way on how to mix it with other soft mixed waste materials to produce useful products such as school chairs,” he added. Thus, the partnership with Tang recently in Tang Project RecyClass.

Citing Singapore where all consumer commodities are imported, he said, the tiny island country incinerates their garbage. This is not allowed in our country, and so the waste that are not easily recyclable or the ones that the scavengers ignore all end up in the landfill, shortening the usefulness of these multi-million infrastructure.

“This is the very reason why Tang tied up with Envirotech to help also the environment since they contribute a lot in producing the packaging foil packs,” he said.

“Even Liwayway Marketing (Oishi) wants to help also and other brands that uses lamination or foil packs. Uniliver, Monde Nissin Ramen etc. We have preliminary talks with them already,” Lemen added.

Will Davao be interested?

But being a Davao City company, what Lemen really wants is to get his hands on the landfill waste of Davao City.

“I hope Davao City will acquire the technology so we can extend the life of the landfill in New Carmen,” Lemen said.

The landfill in New Carmen was completed and opened in October 16, 2009, costing the city a total of P262 million funded through a loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines. It was one of the major infrastructure projects during the last term of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte before he gave way to his daughter Mayor Sara, and was the first such sanitary landfill in the country.

Three and a half years hence, the landfill is quickly filling up, and the city will be needing a new multi-million landfill in the near future at the rate that it is getting filled.

“If I can secure that then we can easily shave 40% of Davao City waste and produce it into useful products like school chairs,” he added.

LGUs as partners

Eighty percent of Envirotech’s partners are local government units, with just 20 percent being from the private sector.

Their first client was Hinatuan Eco-Park in Surigao del Sur in 2011, followed by Tagum City in Davao del Norte.

Before the Tang Project RecyClass, which was highly advertised on television, Envirotech already partnered with Wisepack, the maker of Chooga Juice, in a project similar to RecyClass.

Its Earthboards, planks for walkways and garden stairs, were even installed in Forbes Park in May 2013.

Also just last May, Envirotech partnered with the Villar Foundation for its Waste Recycling Factory in Las Piñas City.

All its products have been proclaimed safe for use through a Toxicity Test administered by the Intertek Testing Services Philippines, Inc. in accordance to the standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“By Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry, it has been declared that Envirotech products do not contain any trace of Mercury and a meager 42 parts per million of Lead, an amount even less than natural levels in the earth’s soil,” Envirotech’s company profile reads.

Truly, garbage collection and recycling is no longer what it used to be.
“With the growing population, there has been a corresponding increase in the volume of residual plastic waste. This, in turn, has resulted in the mountainous waste found in landfills. The sad part is that more than 50% of the residual waste in these landfills was not recycled. The creation of more landfills is only a short-term solution to this growing problem. Envirotech is here to help the Local Government Units find long term solutions to this problem,” Lemen said.

Envirotech has its office at AMS Compound F. Torres St, Davao City and can be contacted through +639178951300 +639228907616.
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