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Enforce antilittering law in Alabang CBD

/ 12:12 AM April 15, 2016

“Ayaw namin iuwi ang basura dahil madumi at puro basura na sa amin. Pumupunta kami dito para mag bonding dahil malinis at sariwa ang hangin (We don’t want to bring our trash with us because our place is dirty and already full of garbage. We come here to bond because it’s clean and the air is fresh).”

This was the answer I got after suggesting to a family that they bring their trash with them in the absence of garbage cans and “No Littering” signs in the area. They were walking away from where they just had a picnic under an Acacia tree and they were leaving behind their trash—fast-food cardboard, plastic, leftover rice and chicken bones, etc.—strewn on the grass and a child’s disposable diaper which they had stuffed into a hole of the tree, like it was nobody’s business.

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With two fast-food establishments across the street, the closed-off sections and streets of the mixed-use residential and commercial development I live in have become a regular “dining place” for families, groups or individuals that prefer to eat out. With its tree-lined streets, mini forest, good bird population,  streams, flowering shrubs and natural landscaping, the place is arguably one of the few remaining beautiful green spaces in Muntinlupa. An increasing number of families, runners, senior citizens, bikers, joggers and dog owners come to the place daily, simply because there is no other like it in that section of Metro Manila, which is open and free for the public to use. It has virtually become the Luneta of the South.

Unfortunately, it is also a place where people feel free to just leave their garbage anywhere they like. Underneath the trees and parking areas are littered with cigarette butts. Empty plastic bottles of water, soft drink and energy drink are strewn all over the grass fields. Fast-food wrappers, paper bags, tin cans, disposable food containers mix with plants or are scattered about the streets.

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Sadly, until now there is no indication of any intent to instill discipline among the users of the place so that they can, nay, will help to keep the place and its surroundings clean and protect the natural environment. There are only a few small garbage bins on the main roads, clearly not enough to keep up with the amount of trash generated every few hours. Antilittering laws are not enforced and no solid waste management policies have been laid down either.

Despite the best efforts of the estate’s management, security force and street sweepers, it is apparent that by themselves they cannot keep the place clean or raise the public’s level of awareness about proper garbage disposal; this they can do only with the cooperation of the fast-food establishments.

Together with the estate’s management, they can begin with a strong antilittering campaign aimed at changing the people’s behavior and attitude so that they will make a conscious effort to properly dispose of their garbage.

April is Earth Month. A good time to motivate adults and children to be more responsible in the disposal of garbage.

—ROSS HARPER ALONSO, rossharperalonso@gmail.com

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TAGS: Alabang, garbage disposal, littering, solid waste management
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