In its effort to boost its environmental protection programs, the San Juan City local government partnered with several environmental protection organizations on Tuesday, March 22, as it moves towards a greener city.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora led the signing of several memoranda of agreement (MOA) with Greenpeace Country Director Lea Guerrero, Plastic Credit Exchange Founder and Chairman Nanette Medved, and Eastwest Builders Inc.’s CEO Arthur Lee.
“We are following through with our promise of creating a cleaner and greener San Juan for all and we are thankful that we have partnered with Greenpeace, Plastic Credit Exchange, and Eastwest in these initiatives,” Zamora said.
Zamora signed three MOAs with Greenpeace under the Livable and Lovable Cities Program.
One of the agreements is the Air Quality Monitoring MOA that will address the air pollution in the city. Air quality monitoring devices will be placed in strategic places such as the Agora Public Market and Pinaglabanan Shrine to check the air quality. Data gathered from these devices will allow Greenpeace and San Juan City to come up with plans and projects to clean the air.
The Alternative Delivery Systems for Communities MOA, on the other hand, encourages San Juanenos to reuse their containers and minimize single-use plastic. A station will be placed in Brgy. Onse where residents can buy wellness products like shampoo and conditioner by bringing their own containers.
The last MOA is the Better Cities System, a project designed to develop maps containing data on best practices of the community for information awareness campaigns.
The MOA between San Juan and Plastic Credit Exchange, dubbed as the “Aling Tindera Program”, is a project where residents can bring in their recyclable plastics to recycling stations in exchange for cash in Brgy. Pasadena and Brgy. Corazon de Jesus.
Meanwhile, Zamora and Lee launched the country's very first reverse vending machine, called the Reverse Vending YC-301.
According to Lee, the Reverse Vending YC-301 is an aluminum can and bottle recycling machine developed by Incom Tomra Recycling Technology.
The RVM collects different beverage containers and can identify 100 different barcodes from 100 different bottles (350, 500, 1000, 1500 ml) and standard-sized aluminum cans. It can store up to 300 (300 ml) cans and 400 (300 ml) PET bottles. It is also equipped with a touch screen feature and compression module to improve the capacity of the storage.
Once the RVM is full, Incom Tomra will collect the bottles and be brought to recycling facilities.
Zamora explained that in order to encourage people to recycle, they will get incentives through redemption coupons. There will be scheduled redemptions for those who will receive the coupons after recycling their bottles and cans via the machine.
Rewards will initially be claimed through redemption booths, but the city government is already working on partnering with different malls so coupons will then be converted to points in their reward cards.
“We are hoping that these recycling and refusing single use plastic initiatives gain traction and encourage San Juaneños to minimize their carbon footprint. Once it becomes successful, we can bring more RVMs to high-foot traffic areas in the city and put more Aling Tindera stations around the city,” Zamora said.