Trash for Cash Initiatives in Brgy. Carreta and Tinago, Cebu City

Being surrounded by tombs, the Carreta Cemetery is not an ideal place to raise children nor an ideal place to build a home. In addition to poor sanitation practices and improper waste management, bacterial pathogens linger in water surfaces and groundwater. Albeit these hazards, people have coalesced in this area in desperation for a place to live. Barangay Tinago is no different. Adjacent to the major port areas of Cebu City, proper waste disposal becomes very problematic especially since it is the point of entry for all people coming in to Cebu City.

Earlier this year, ERM Cebu launched the “Trash for Cash” initiative under the Health Education for Family Development component of the C.E.B.U. Families project to motivate community members to be environmentally conscious while earning money at the same time. As of this writing, it has organized a total of 150 families to join the cause in the fight against deceases caused by improper hygiene and sanitation and in making their communities a better place to live.

ERMFPI received positive response from the barangay councils of the respective areas wherein local officials were the ones leading and encouraging the people to participate in these activities. Residents in the two barangays were taught how to segregate wastes and were able to collect a significant number of recyclable materials. They were encouraged to make some of the bottles collected into garden pots for their hanging gardens. They were provided with soils and seeds of vegetables and herbs for their community-owned sustainable garden.

Conscious of the people’s day-to-day necessities, ERMFPI has also managed to gather donations of canned goods including sacks of rice from partners around the metro. They were handed to the families who have joined the activity as part of the incentive mechanism in the effort towards the realization of the project.