By Mauro Allan P. Amparado & Mark Keneth A. Saladaga
Community Awareness, Relations & Extension Services, & Basic Education Department
This study ascertained the impact of the Money from Wastes (Pera sa Basura) Program of a University in Central Visayas, Philippines, under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ National Ecosavers Program.
This descriptive quantitative study was conducted at the Materials Recovery Facility of a University. On a monthly basis, faculty and students of the 13 academic departments are requested to identify recyclables in their department. These recyclables are temporarily stored in the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) with 5 compartments: white paper, colored paper, plastic bottles, boxes and tin cans. These items are measured in terms of kilos. These are recorded by the Program CARES Coordinator and submitted to the UCLM CARES Director. The UCLM MRF is an income-generating section of the university. Sales on a weekly basis are recorded after the compartments of the MRF are inspected and weighed.
Findings reveal that the total sales from recyclables is 161,211.50 Philippine Pesos. Sales were highest in the months of July, August, October, November, January and February.
In the university, midterms examinations are scheduled on August, January and April. Final examinations are scheduled on October, March and May. Based on the sales of recyclables, the researchers have seen an increase of sales during these periods. Test questionnaires, plastic bottles of water and tin cans are the most consumed items.
With total sales of 161,211.50 Philippine Pesos, the UCLM MRF supports the scholarship of the university and implies that the one school year sales may support 2 scholars to cover for one year tuition and miscellaneous fees (given that the tuition and miscellaneous fees is 35,000.00 Philippine pesos per semester).
The university has sold 14,489.5 kilos of colored paper. This is followed by white paper at 10,997.5 kilos. Boxes ranks third at 5,383 kilos. When data was highlighted as to top six sales per item, it reveals that the months of June, August, November and January were peak seasons for recyclables.
Colored paper was basically coming from test papers, test questionnaires and used forms from the departments. On the other hand, sources of white paper were sourced from inter-office communications, memos, school projects and undergraduate theses. Boxes were observed to come from the packaging of equipment and supplies used in offices such as desktop computers, printers, and ink cartridges. This also implies that bigger compartments should be allocated for white paper, colored paper and boxes.
At present, the Materials Recovery Facility is considered one of the youngest centers of profit for the university. It continues to monitor the influx of recyclables from the different academic and non-academic departments of the school.
Solid Waste Management has been a pressing issue not only for the university but to the entire province of Cebu. With the institution of the Materials Recovery Facility, the researchers have seen improvements in the behavior of faculty, students, staff and parents on waste segregation. The recyclables which they separate from their departments contribute much to the profits of the MRF and supports the Eco Scholarship of the university.
Keywords: Solid Waste Management, Materials Recovery Facility, Eco Scholarship, Money from Wastes, Philippines