The ICTSI Foundation partnered with Finnish NGO RiverRecycle to pioneer a financially sustainable river waste collection system for Manila’s Pasig River, infusing US$1 million to revive the vital waterway.
“As a good corporate citizen, this is part of our commitment to environmental conservation and the welfare of our host communities along the Pasig River and the port area,” announced Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI Foundation president.
“We are very optimistic about the potential environmental impact of this endeavor,” he noted.
The project has two components.
First, RiverRecycle will collect plastic waste from the river.
The Finnish NGO has designed a device that can haul out 70 to 200 tons of waste daily.
The collected plastic waste will be converted into oil before being converted back into plastic.
The second component is implementing an awareness campaign to empower local communities to adopt more responsible waste management behaviors – a key step to reduce and eventually, eliminate plastic pollution.
Aside from removing waste debris from the Pasig River, the project will also reduce the number of water hyacinths which impede the flow of water, resulting in increased sedimentation.
“Our solution not only removes the plastic already in the rivers, but provides sustainable waste management where it’s needed most,” according to RiverRecycle founder and chief executive officer Anssi Mikola.
“The project will take us one step closer to converting the plastic ‘waste’ problem into a circular economy model that keeps plastic in the economy and out of the environment,” he pointed out.
The plastic waste collection project aligns with the ICTSI Foundation’s ongoing Parola Solid Waste Management Project with the City of Manila and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.