Youth group addresses garbage problem in their community with a recycling project

A group of youth in Cotabato City is starting the year with a new initiative on recycling supported by World Vision and the city’s local government.

According to Jaybert, 24, the initiative’s proponent, the recycling project will provide stay-at-home children and youth a chance to participate in a cause while earning a small amount of money that they can use to buy their school projects. “Children and youth will have fun creating arts from trash while learning how to care for the environment,” he shares.

Jaybert came up with the recycling initiative after observing that waste disposal is a problem in his community causing flooding in certain parts of his village. “Flooding is a serious concern that we have in our community because of improper way of throwing trash that clogs drainage,” he says.

The youth collect reusable materials and creatively transform them into something useful. “We gather plastic bottles and cups that are good for recycling. We would paint them, create decorations like vases, pots, even clothes. World Vision also linked us with buyers of recyclable materials where we can sell our products,” says Jaybert. They intend to sell their finished products and use the money to buy load for their internet to support their online classes.

Last Christmas, Jaybert’s group created several Christmas decors out of recyclable materials.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources report showed that the Philippines, with a population of over 100 million, is producing over 21 million metric tons of garbage annually.

Cotabato City faces the challenges of proper segregation, solid waste reduction and available designated landfills for garbage disposal. The city is one of World Vision’s project partners on waste management called Adapting Solid Waste Management as Climate Crises Solution.

World Vision recently held a Climate Change Summit to engage identified communities in improving their mechanisms on waste collection, waste segregation, recycling and other climate change adaptation practices.

Jaybert wishes that year 2022 will be a year that many children and youth, not only in his barangay but in the entire city of Cotabato will be interested in advocating cleanliness and environmental care in their own little ways.

“One day, I will put up an exhibit where they can all witness the creativity of these children and youth creating arts from the trash. I want people to realize that in the trash you cannot only save money, but you can also save the earth,” he concludes.