Five high school students from Malabon City have bested 240 other students with their creative poster on the safe management of electronic wastes (e-waste).
The entry of the students of Longos National High School (LNHS) was adjudged grand winner of a poster-making contest initiated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB).
It is part of the “Safe PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) and E-Waste Management Project” of the DENR-EMB, which aims to raise community awareness and support for the environmentally sound management of e-waste.
The Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization also support the project.
The entry from the LNHS team comprised of Ellimaykelle Fajardo, Justin Pan, Sophia Lorraine Santos, Andrew Tibong, and Jayvean Villanueva bested 47 other posters created by 240 senior high school students from participating schools located at the four project sites in Caloocan, Malabon and Manila Cities.
The virtual awarding held on Tuesday was witnessed by Dr. Ernest Joseph Cabrera of the Department of Education (DepEd-Malabon City) and LNHS principal Juanito Gayola.
“We thank the organizers for the opportunity given to our students and teachers to be sensitized about the negative effects of the improper disposal of broken, busted or obsolete electronics to our health and the environment. The knowledge acquired should discourage our homes, schools and communities from burning, dumping and improperly recycling e-waste that can result in harmful emissions and releases of chemical pollutants into the air, water and soil,” Gayola said.
Industrial development officer Carmela Centeno of UNIDO said, “the goal of the project is to formalize the informal waste sector in the chosen projects sites.”
“With this comes the continuous awareness raising to the communities that have predominantly built their lives in these areas that are heavily involved in this industry. These students consider it the norm seeing improper dismantling of e-waste along their streets and for some, in their backyards,” Centeno added.
Through these activities, they are now aware that they, even as young students, have a role in sustaining the environment from the harmful effects of e-waste, she said.
Aside from LNHS, students from three schools in Caloocan City (Bagong Silang High School, Benigno Aquino Jr. High School and Camarin High School) and two schools in Manila City (Dr. Juan G. Nolasco High School and Tondo High School) participated in the creative competition.
Before the students released their creative talents, workshops were first conducted to inform them about the growing problem with e-waste and the need for concerted action to address their threats to human health and the environment.
E-waste can contain loads of persistent organic pollutants like polybrominated diphenyl ethers in the plastic casings of computer and TV sets, lead and other heavy metals in the cathode ray tubes of old TVs, and other chemicals of concern that can pose serious health and environmental risks.
The entries were evaluated according to their relevance, creativity, composition and originality by a panel of judges composed of representatives from the DENR-EMB, UNIDO, EcoWaste Coalition, barangay, school faculty and the local informal waste sector.
The LNHS team got a cash award of P5,000. Each member of the team also received a desktop computer and a signed certificate of participation.